Improve The Quality Of Your Life By Mastering Your Attention

The book, The One Who Is Not Busy by Darlene Cohen arrived late yesterday. I only had time to read the introduction and do a quick skim through the rest of the book. (A bit of irony there). But already I have put into practice Skill 1: The ability to narrow or widen the mind’s focus at will.

Last night, after watching a movie with my wife, it was later than normal for me to be up – 11:30 – but I did not feel tired and noticed my creative mind teasing me with ideas for the upcoming Enlightened Entrepreneurs Intensive.

I wanted to jump right up from the couch, grab my notebook and pen and jot down the ideas that were bubbling up. Melissa wanted to “connect” for a few minutes before going to bed.

I was torn but I chose to stay with Melissa for a few moments and have that connection time. Having just skimmed through The One Who Is Not Busy, the concept of narrowing and widening the mind’s focus at will was in my awareness. And as I sat and snuggled with Melissa I was able to watch the focus of my mind narrow and widen. I was also able to bring some consciousness to the process.

The experience was quite tangible for me. I could feel and “see” my mind’s focus opening up to include the table, the physical location, where I would sit to take notes, as well as widening to include the ideas that were coming up.

In this widened state of focus my presence was clearly split. I was not fully present in either (any) space and felt uncomfortable. In that state, I could feel myself pulling away from Melissa, wanting to be over there at the table.

With intention, I was able to narrow my focus and bring my full attention back to my connection with Melissa. Each time I did this I could “see” a lens closing and blocking out both the physical and mental elements beyond of my chosen area of focus. It literally felt as if I was putting blinders on my inner and outer vision.

The One Who Is Not Busy
is a short book – just over 100 pages – and you can be sure that over this weekend, I’ll be reading it and beginning to integrate more of the skills and exercises from this book into my life.

Here’s one brief paragraph from the introduction that I found particularly insightful:

I have come to believe that one of life’s most essential skills is the ability to focus one’s attention at will. This single ability is the foundation of all mastery and contentment. We can’t talk about developing talent or mining resources until this skill is in place. Mastery over one’s attention determines the quality of one’s life.

I’ve never heard it put in that way before: “Mastery over one’s attention determines the quality of one’s life.”

I believe she may be right.

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      7 Responses to “Improve The Quality Of Your Life By Mastering Your Attention”

      1. Greg Butler on January 20th, 2007 4:04 pm

        To focus one’s attention at will equates with being able to stop the endless chatter of the mind and connect to source. And without being able to control our mind we have no free will at all–just reactions based on the impressions gathered over the eternity of time.

      2. Edward Mills on January 20th, 2007 6:20 pm

        Hi Greg. You’re right on with that. It seems to me that it’s a continuous process. I know that when I get to a point where I think I have silenced the chatter (or at least reduced it to a dull roar) I find there is another level of awareness waiting to explore.

      3. Ms. Q on January 21st, 2007 9:27 am

        I’ve read similar things: changing your attitude by focusing on the positives but the idea of mastery over your attention is a great one. Thanks for bring it to my attention! I hope you post more about the book after you’ve read it.

      4. Spiral Visions on January 27th, 2007 2:51 pm

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      5. Karen Lynch on February 1st, 2007 6:44 pm

        I see this also as being mindful. Being fully present in what you are doing, being and intending right now.
        Mastery over our attention probably does determine the quality of our lives. Is that not what deliberate creation is about?

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      7. Spiral Visions on June 13th, 2007 11:20 pm

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