*I wrote this piece recently as a sample for a potential job, and irony of ironies is that I greatly need the reminder of this now. Or perhaps the irony is that it’s not ironic at all, because…I always need the reminder. I thought I’d share in case you might need the reminder, too. It’s short and sweet, and I hope it helps.
There are over seven and a half billion people orbiting the sun with us each year.
And every single person has a set of experiences, unique to only them.
Unique collections of fortune and misfortune; calm and crisis, advantage and adversity.
And yet, even knowing there are billions of us, all with different personalities and living different experiences, we’re still surprised on a daily basis at how others react and respond to both advantage, and adversity.
Maybe those who seem to be…holding it together, when you’re certain you’d fall apart…know this truth: Your attention is the most valuable resource you have.
There’s a reason for the cliche, ‘perception is reality.’
We don’t always get to change our circumstances. But we can always change our thoughts about them.
Think about a personal struggle you’ve gone through. What did you focus on most? The hardship? The loss? The unmet expectation? Or were you able to pause and shift your focus away from the seemingly negative aspects?
Now, think about a family member or friend who has gone through a similar, or perhaps even more dire hardship than you. How did they handle it? Were you surprised by how well they seemed to be keeping it together? Or perhaps you were taken aback by how much turmoil they let the experience bring to their life?
Writer and meditator Jeff Warren said, “What you pay attention to becomes your life.”
There’s a rarely a moment in life that we’re not experiencing some type of challenge, transition, or disruption.
It’s what you do in the face of those disruptions that matters.
If your attention is the most valuable resource you have, the ability to choose where you focus that attention is your greatest superpower.
Imagine yourself as Thor. Your mind is your Asgard. Your thoughts are your Loki. They can be mischievous, and they WILL try to trick you. But you can use your super strength (the ability to choose what you pay attention to) and your hammer (mindfulness) to bring the thoughts to a halt, and show them who’s really in charge. (Hint: You’re in charge.)
Or, perhaps a more natural analogy is Star Wars, because Jedis are MASTERS of mindfulness. And in a way, we all have the ability to tap into The Force.
Although you might not have a light saber or the ability to levitate, you too can be a master of mindfulness.
All it takes is some practice, and you’ll be able to truly tap into your greatest resource: your attention.
No matter what circumstances you might find yourself in, you can choose to focus on the part of the experience that best serves you.
They say with great power comes great responsibility. Use your power – your attention – wisely, and you’re able to find inner peace, no matter the outer circumstances.