Living Life with Intention: A Consultant’s thoughts on Attention
We are nothing but a speck in this universe. In this fast-paced world, we are buried by competition. There are over thousands of fresh graduates from all corners of the globe and it makes our career path appear narrower. Thus, most of us end up applying for a job that is available on our plate. Unfortunately, not all of us has the liberty to stay unemployed for a while. Bills and adulthood can take its toll quickly.
As reality bites, we sometimes find ourselves questioning our very existence. But, we live in an era where (almost) everyone steers to social media. They tend to find validity and worth through likes and shares. From relationship goals, travel blogs, to sumptuous Instagram post of a fancy dinner, or a newly purchase shoes…we all love seeing the good stuff. However, the majority of them still feel hollow and does not have the fire to wake up each day. Not everyone of us has the fire to look at the mirror and get excited about the new work day. It always seems like just another day in the office.
How do we find our passion?
We find our passion by doing the things we love. Yes, it’s easier said than done. Sometimes, the things that make us whole are the things that are right infront of us. And it just takes some mindfulness of one self. How do we become aware of ourself? It’s one easy word: attention.
If we are living a few decades back, without the mobile phones and the wireless technology, can you imagine what would you be doing at this very moment? Do you think you would take the time to look around your surrounding? Smell the fresh air or enjoy the green trees?
When life gives you lemon…
Attention helps us become aware of what we have. It makes us think about our current resources, our assets, our liabilities, and our whole being. Being attentive with how we feel, how we react, and how we perceive on our lifes’ daily challenges. As a consultant, this will give you a different vantage point. It gives you a different perspective.
If you are struggling with your career right now, should you put extra attentiveness to it, would it make the difference? Would you be able to identify your weaknesses? Would you be able to know what part of the job you love and what are the type of tasks that you are struggling to?
These are the lemons of your career. Would you be able to make lemonades out of it?
As you grow attentive, you will be able to learn your pros and cons. It will help you evaluate your career decisions. Are you where you wanted to be if you ask your 5 years younger version of yourself?
Intention: Knowing my path
If you’re positive about your current standing, then, well done. You knew yourself well. But, are you creating traction? Where do you see yourself five years and beyond? Would you still sit in the same corner in the office? How do you intend to succeed on your job?
Meanwhile, if you feel like you are on a dead end or you felt like you slept on the wrond side of the bed, then that is still progress. You were able to pay attention to your capabilities. Now it’s time to put some meaning to what you are going to do and what you are currently doing. It’s time to draw your intention.
Who do I intend to be? What is the value that I can bring on the table? Will I become a catalyst of change? Your intention will become your passion. Do you intend to make a difference?
A few real-life examples
Your attention is like a muscle. Train it by reminding yourself not to switch tabs on the computer instead remained focused. Remind yourself to get your important stuff done the first thing of the day before everyone else’s agendas spills over, likewise when you just feel like crashing on the couch at home. Its WAY easier to get it done before then once you’re rooted to the seat. Just like physical training. Making plans the day before and get it done on the way home. Just like with physical training its important what you eat. Don’t leave garbage food at home. With attention is the same thing. Don’t have tabs running that you’ll check later. Don’t let email control your day. Control your interruptions as much as possible. Listen for what works for you. And for your manager if you have one
Attention and placebo. We often get what we look for. Like when I failed miserably learning to ride a motorbike when I was young my teacher used to say “Ric – look where you’re heading not at your hands”, interestingly that’s exactly what I learned from my martial art teacher as well - being mindful of feints and the tricks our own focus play on ourselves. Attention is most often just a projection of our self as well. I remember for example that you like red Corvettes. If I would ask you how many you see you’d probably see them a lot more than someone who is not interested in them. You’d give a summary how common they are. Still, if you’re happy for their driver and inspired to take action or just giving up in envy will most likely affect your judgement how frequent they REALLY are.
What's your intention with where you place your attention?
Do you most often get what you intend to get? give what you intend to give?
Investing for the Greater Good
It is said that you are the average of the five people you invest your time to. This also works for the type of news your reading a day. Where do you spend most of your time? Do you binge watch to Netflix series all day? Or do you spend a part of your time tweaking your resume, highlighting your strengths? Did you ever have the time for learning new skills or improving the ones that you have? Do you have the right network of people?
Be honest with yourself, with what you have right now…would you be able to say that you are going to the right path?
As you become more mindful, do you find time doing the things that matter to you? Will your efforts go to waste? Will you stay complaining or do something about it