The ringmaster at the circus usually opens the show with a time-honored phrase: “Your attention, please!” Why is this? Because he knows that if he’s able to direct your attention, he is more likely to be able to control your experience.
In my opinion, the single most important skill to develop in life is becoming the master of your own attention. (And by the way, I still have a lot of work to do in this area!)
At any given time, there will be many events, people, and circumstances clamoring for your acknowledgment.
Notice them all. But choose wisely which of them will receive your sustained attention, because what you focus on expands for you. Make sure you only devote your deep attention toward experiences you want more of.
If you feel stuck in a circumstance that you don’t want more of, you have some work to do. Shift and sort until you find something within it that you do appreciate: a kind doorman in the building with the nasty neighbors, a coworker who brings homemade cookies to the office that teems with petty gossip, or as Mr. Rogers said, the helpers who run toward danger and crisis to rescue and take care of those who were harmed.
Right foot hurts? Focus on your left. Angry about the driver who cut you off? Focus on the hundreds of other drivers you’ve encountered in traffic today who didn’t.
Learn to intentionally direct the power of your attention, and you will possess the key to change your entire experience of the world.