“Keep your mind on the things you want, and off the things you don’t.”*
Great idea. It’s simple enough. Then how do we get so far away from our deepest desires and highest priorities? Have you ever poured yourself into frustration and distraction ~ then wondered how you got there? And when you finally do notice, you’re too exhausted to do anything about it?
In a world of competing priorities filled with an abundance of convenient, enticing and demanding distractions, how can we meet our responsibilities and still focus on our highest values? How do we return to what matters most? Do we remember? What DO we want?
Distractions are ever present. Frustration sneaks up on us while we are distracted. It happens so quickly and frequently. What can we do? Mindfulness – attend to what we are doing now.
We can raise our awareness throughout the day and notice how we’re spending our attention and energy. Take a mindful breath and notice when we’re in areas that pull us off track. Instead of opening the flood gates of depleting energy and frustration, we can consider distractions as data. Distractions = data. Data is information. Information empowers our decisions. Perhaps distractions can serve as a gentle nudge that brings us back to our values and ourselves.
When we drift into the weeds of depleting attention, mindfully acknowledge we’ve become distracted, and begin again. And again. And again. Thank ourselves for noticing. Distractions are a part of life. The magic happens when we respond and recover from them.
*This quote has been credited to many from Napoleon Hill to Bruce Lee. Perhaps they ALL did.