How your attention nourishes things
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“The simple act of paying attention can take you a long way.” – Keanu Reeves
Photo by Simon Wijers on Unsplash
Your attention is like Miracle Gro. What you give attention to will have the most heft in your life. It will create the healthiest plants in your thought garden. Trouble is, you might be paying too much attention to your weeds.
Attention keeps it strong
When you pay regular attention to something, it keeps it strong in your brain. You exercise the neural network related to the attention you give to the thing over and over and over. This is great if you’re paying attention to something you want to grow nice and big and healthy in your life.
But what if it’s something you don’t want?
It’s counter intuitive to not give attention to something your brain tells you is wrong. Your brain senses it as a threat, and therefor always wants to keep an eye on it.
The problem with this method of operation is in the paying attention, the problem becomes bigger, more encompassing, even more threatening. Any space that could be used to actually solve the problem is crowded out by the worry. Any space that could be used to focus on things that aren’t problems has a hard time seeing daylight.
Shift your attention
So if what you give your attention to grows stronger, it would stand to reason that if you can get your brain to pay attention to the positive, you can make that stronger.
This is where you have to rise up, as I call it, into your creative mind, your prefrontal cortex, and task your brain to pay attention to what you want it to.
Do you have chronic pain somewhere in your body?
Task your brain to pay attention to where there is no pain.
Do you worry about little lapses in memory?
Task your brain to pay attention to everything you do remember, every single day (there’s lots).
Do you constantly pick out the worst qualities in someone?
Task your brain to pick out a good quality, and only pay attention to that.
If you don’t, your attention on the negative will just keep growing those weeds bigger and wilder than ever. And if thought becomes reality, you’re heading down a path you likely don’t want to travel.
Take inventory of the negative things you are giving your attention to. Make a list. Recognize that this is your conditioned mind at work, just creating a negative nest of thought designed to keep you small and safely hidden away from any possible danger in the world.
Thank your conditioned mind for having your back, but rise into your creative mind, and look at that list. See all the things you are applying Miracle Gro to through your attention. Do you want those to be the tallest, healthiest plants in the garden of your life?
If not, deliberately choose which thoughts (plants) are worthy of your attention. Which thoughts will create a garden you’ll be proud of. Because thoughts create the reality of your life. People assume circumstance creates the reality of their life, but it’s the other way around: thought creates circumstance.
So start to pay attention to what you’re paying attention to, because attention is what makes anything in your life take root.
And here’s a final thought to ponder: everything you currently have in your life is what you are paying attention to.
Work with me
If you would like some help seeing what you are giving attention to, book a complimentary coaching session with me and we can discover it together.