The Skill of Paying Attention
by Robin Sacks
Paying Attention is one of the most underrated skills a person can have.
The things we miss, those things we don't see or hear, even though they were said directly to us, are because we are not paying attention.
It's interesting to think that, anytime we are not in the NOW, we are not paying attention. That's A LOT of time spent not paying attention. Go through your typical day and be consciously aware of where your mind is. It spends a ton of time in the past, and even more time in the future. But it's mind-blowing how little time it spends in the present moment.
One of the reasons so many people spend so much of their day stressed and overwhelmed is because of this "time-traveling" mind.
The only time we can DO anything - is right now, in the present moment. We have no control over the past - it's over. We have no control in the future...yes, we can set things up in the present to happen in the future, but we can't actually do anything until we get there (and it becomes the present moment).
The reason we tend to feel stressed, overwhelmed, fearful, nervous, anxious or worried is because there is an unknown - and when there is an unknown, there is no control; just like in the past or the future.
When you feel those things, you can guarantee that you are "time-traveling" in your head.
By intentionally bringing your mind back into the present moment - the right now - anytime you feel any of the above feelings, you are quickly in a position of control, because you CAN do something about it. The question to ask yourself in that moment is, "What can I do right now?"; not 'what should I have done' (past) or 'what should I do tomorrow' (future).
I encourage you to catch yourself "time-traveling." It won't be hard to do - if you are stressed, you're most likely doing it! Catch yourself, sit back, take a breath and ask yourself one question, "What can I do about it right now."
Then, go do it.