I’m doing something right now, but my mind is miles and miles away.
I’ve called this act many names in the past – multitasking, daydreaming, distraction.
But what it is, is pure “not paying attention.”
And I’ve found it to be damaging to my success, and growth.
Why should you pay attention?
Learn to differentiate good from great
When you pay close attention, you notice more things, and get better at observing your situation and surroundings.
The more attention and presence you contribute to an activity that you do, the more details you pick up, and the better your brain gets at remembering those details.
And the more attention you pay, you begin to notice the difference between good and great.
The presence and attention you pour into the activity, begins to make new connections in your brain, and slowly, you begin to take in the details and the structure.
Which makes it easier for you to spot them, when you’re observing, or actually doing.
Paying attention means being able to see the little details that you would not have noticed, otherwise.
You learn better
This is true whether you’re reading something, or actually practicing a new skill, or going for improvement.
When I started doing pushups, I was mindlessly pumping them out, as many as I can. Although I did improve, when I started paying more attention, and being present as I was doing my pushups, there were so many things I learned and realized.
How my body reacts, when I feel stronger, what weakness feels like, what pain from over-exertion feels like, what to do to avoid injury, how to control my breathing and muscles.
So many lessons and additional skills, from being present doing push-ups.
When you’re present, in the moment, you learn better. You make better connections, and pick up more details, that could mean the difference between just being good, or being great.
You feel free and flexible
Paying attention in the moment, means being able to pick up details, that can influence your decisions on how you think, how you act, and how you adapt.
This also includes how you feel.
I remember I always felt annoyed when people would shout at me. I would lash back at them, and the conversations didn’t end well that way.
When I started paying more attention, not only to my surroundings, but myself, including my feelings, I could feel the tendency to shout at people, and became much more aware of what triggered my negative emotions and reactions.
This meant that whenever I was paying attention, I made better decisions, stayed calm, and was able to adapt and be flexible on the fly, depending on what the circumstances called for.
You feel free and flexible, because you realize that you have more choices and tools at your disposal, when you pay attention, to the surroundings, and to yourself.
Worrying doesn’t solve anything
Part of the skill of paying attention, is discerning where to pay attention, how to do it, and its impact on you.
Worrying is paying attention to your negative emotions, and dwelling on possible negative outcomes, taken to the extreme.
It can help to foresee what can go wrong, in the hopes of preparing for them.
But worrying leaves it at that, just thinking, imagining, and being stuck.
Pay attention when overthinking, and worrying, is not helping you, and when to take action.
It’s only action that will remove the fear and worry from your mind, and you also need to pay attention to the signs when you nee to take action, when you’re afraid, when your body doesn’t want to move, to feel, but yet, that is exactly what you need to be doing.
Worrying is paying attention to the wrong things, and dwelling on them.
Because the exercise of being in the moment, of paying attention, is supposed to inspire us, motivate us, and get us acting, moving forward.
Pay attention to yourself, to your energy level.
Pay attention if what you’re doing is a YES! or a NO!
Pay attention to other people as well, genuinely, humbly, lovingly.
Be present in the moment.
Pay attention to what matters the most to you.
To what do you pay attention to frequently? Please reply in the comments, and let me know!