Nothing within our control contributes more to our performance in, or enjoyment of life, than the ability to control our attention.
Our position at work is a result of the attention we paid to the lessons, or the interviews, or the opportunities that gave us the start. Our advancement (or lack thereof) is a result of the attention we pay to the work, or to the people, or to the opportunities along the way.
Our financial position is a result of the decisions we’ve made about the resources at our disposal, and what we were focused on when making those decisions.
The quality of our relationships isn’t just dictated by their behaviour. It’s built on the quality of attention we give to the people in our lives.
Certainly luck or other factors like injustice impact on the opportunities or challenges we experience, but if these are outside our control then let’s not give them more of our precious attention than they deserve. Attend to them as necessary and then give our attention to the next thing that we can influence.
Attention can seem difficult to control. Captured by this, distracted by that, and scattered when we need it to be focused. However, through awareness and practice it can be controlled. It’s not rocket science, and it’s not hard work, but the benefits are boundless.
Start by simply observing your attention. Notice where it goes and which of the millions of bits of information available at any one time seem to attract it. Familiarity with your attention is a small but important first step.