How often have you caught yourself ruminating over something that only made you feel down?
How often has your focus been on something you can’t control?
How often has your attention been towards seeing the limitations and only the negative aspect of a given situation or person?
We all struggle with this at times in our lives and if we aren’t careful we’re consumed by them and ultimately miss opportunities to overcome or gain momentum in a particular area of our life.
There’s a phrase I love that goes like this: “where the focus goes, the energy flows”. When you put your attention on something your energy is feeding that specific thing. Think about it, you have a job, you put your focus on the task at hand, and your energy sees it to completion. A problem we often run into however is that we place our attention on things we cannot change or control and when you couple this with a focus that is undisciplined or lackluster then it’s a recipe for running in circles.
This is where people often underestimate the power of something like meditation. We think of it as some spiritual activity, but rarely consider it to be an exercise in focus. Sure there are different forms of meditation, but when you focus on the breath as your thoughts bubble up you are training your focus. Maybe you go on a rabbit chase for a moment, thinking about things you need to get done, but then when you return to the breath you are training your attention.
The better you get at focusing the easier it is to let negative thoughts drift away like clouds overhead. It also allows you to conserve energy for more meaningful matters. Think about how exhausting it is to study all day and now consider how much energy you may be potentially wasting by being taken away with negative thoughts or other matters that you simply cannot control or change in the present moment. The only thing that really matters is the present moment, giving your fullest attention to the task at hand to see it to completion.
What do you do to help with increasing your focus and attention? I use an app called Headspace which has proven to be invaluable for my daily meditation practice. I’d love to hear some alternative ways to exercising this incredibly powerful skill. Let me know in the comments below!