What you Pay Attention to Grows!

No matter what time of year, finding ways to be thankful can make a huge difference in whether or not you are happy, but also in whether or not you are successful!

Your perspective on yourself and the world around you can make the difference between living a life focused on challenge, or one focused on possibilities.  One of my favorite expressions is

What we Pay Attention To, Grows! half empty half full

The nature of our attention is such that we notice more of what we are paying attention to.  Our mind’s eye is naturally drawn to “see” more of what we’re already focused on.

Here’s a simple example of this from just last night. I was shopping with my husband in one of those huge outdoor sportsman stores. (You know those places that both overstimulate and are very distracting for someone like me with ADD? One of those.)  Of course, I was only half paying attention when he said, “I’m going to go look at the…,” so I had  no idea where he’d gone by the time I’d realized he was no longer beside me.  (Sound familiar?)

As I was scanning the store for “my” man in a red shirt, suddenly it seemed like there were red shirts everywhere, on shoppers, on racks and on shelves.  Suddenly, red seemed to be the predominate color in the store, when it hadn’t been just moments earlier.

It wasn’t that a crowd of red-shirted shoppers had been bused in, or that the sales clerks had just unpacked a huge shipment of red hunting gear, and it wasn’t that I had used some magical powers to manifest more red shirts!

It was just my attention.  What I was focused on, was what I was noticing.

What you pay Attention To, Grows! 

When we focus on the negative, our mind and our attention is naturally drawn to find and notice more negative, which we can perceive as “proof” that reinforces our focus on the negative.  We focus on negative, we see more negative, and then we focus on yet more negative.  And around and around it goes!

When we focus on the positive, our mind and attention is naturally drawn to find and notice more positive.  Our attention will reinforce that positive by drawing us to notice it.  We focus on positive, we see more positive, and then we focus on yet more positive. And around and around it goes!

Ask yourself this one, important question. In this time of turmoil and conflict in the world…

What are YOU choosing to pay attention to?

If you can create the habit of consciously choosing to shift your attention from the negative to the positive, you’ll be amazed at what you’ll tune into!  Just consciously starting each day and/or ending each evening with picking just 3 to 5 things in your life that you can be grateful for can help you start to make that shift.  It’s really very simple, and it doesn’t have to be big, life-changing positive stuff to focus your gratitude on!

When my kids were little and my ADD was running the show, there were plenty days that the only 3 things I could latch onto with gratitude by the time my head hit the pillow were that: 1) everyone had eaten; 2) everyone was accounted for; and 3) I hadn’t actually burned the house down.  Some days, the pickings will be slim, so to speak.  But they’re still worth picking!

I can’t promise you that your problems and challenges will magically disappear, because they won’t.  What I can promise you is that you’ll start to look at them a little differently, and that they may start to fade a little more into the background of your life.  It’s amazing what happens when you let the positive stuff you have to be grateful for start to take the center stage of your attention.

Just like the color blue did for me last night. Once I actually found my husband in the store and realized he wasn’t even wearing red after all!

What Do YOU have to be Thankful for?

As always, I’m grateful for you! Thanks for reading.

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