Thursday, July 15, 2010

Conscious Awareness - Focus Your Attention

If you want to be effective in your world, you need to know what‘s going on. Not just the myriad of events that happen around you, but also the attitudes and energy of the people you want to get along with.

It takes concentration to really be aware of things. You can be around them so much that you take them for granted and glance past them. When you‘re busy thinking about the past, solving problems and planning for the future — all of which are necessary — what‘s happening right in front of you might not register in your consciousness. Important facts could go unnoticed. Your mind might be somewhere else, and the moment could pass without your fully perceiving things.

The solution is to be in the moment. Not all the time, but frequently throughout the day. Slow down, stop and open your eyes to whatever presents itself at the moment. That way, you‘ll see things you might otherwise ignore. Like the sights and sounds of what's going on at the time. Or something somebody said. Or the posture and facial expression of the person standing in front of you. If you‘re not fully present, you‘ll miss something important.

Make the effort to pay attention to the details. When you do, you‘ll see that each moment is a unique opportunity to enrich your store of information.

― "Normally, we do not so much look at things as overlook them." - Alan Watts, American philosopher (1915-1973)

― "Look and you will find it—what is unsought will go undetected." - Sophocles, Greek playwright (B.C. 496-406)

― "Tell me what you pay attention to and I will tell you who you are." - Jose Ortega y Gasset, Spanish philosopher (1883-1955)

― "You can observe a lot just by watching." - Yogi Berra, American professional baseball player (1925- )

― "The tragedy of life is not so much what men suffer, but rather what they miss." - Thomas Carlyle, British essayist (1795-1881)

― "What we see depends mainly on what we look for." - John Lubbock, British statesman (1834-1913)

― "The obscure we eventually see. The completely obvious, it seems, takes longer." - Edward R. Murrow, American journalist (1908-1965)

― "I learned more about economics from one South Dakota dust storm than I did in all my years in college." - Hubert Humphrey, American vice president (1911-1978)

― "The true art of memory is the art of attention." - Samuel Johnson, British essayist (1709-1784)

― "Give whatever you are doing and whoever you are with the gift of attention." - Jim Rohn, American author (1930-2009)

Pay attention, and you'll find what you're looking for.

Post by Dennis E. Coates, Ph.D., Copyright 2010. Building Personal Strength .


Beth said...

Being in the present moment with full focus and attention is the key to almost everything: loving the person or persons you love well and fully, experiencing life completely and even staying safe. It's also the way to learn quickly with the least effort.

Sean said...

Another great aid in focusing awareness is to have a specific goal. When you define goals, you give yourself a new context to experience things. Everything that happens around you can be seen through lens of how it may help with your goal.

Without defined goals, you're just reacting to thousands of random stimuli, trying to pay attention and guess what's important.