Bring yourself to this moment and experience it fully. Where attention goes, energy flows.
—Calm App Reflection
Image from Unsplash by Shantung Kulkarni
During a recent holiday gathering I went out of my way to be a more focused observer of everyone in attendance.
Of particular note were the four children ages 2, 5, 7 and 10. Throughout our time together, it was interesting to see how present the kids were versus many of the adults.
With football games in the background and many cell phones in hand, it was obvious that many of the grown-ups could have benefited from some kid coaching.
Where are you most focused and attentive in your life?
How energetic do these experiences feel compared to when you are pulled away by competing distractions?
“Just keep swimming.”
Image from Unsplash by Tyler Nix
I recently watch the Netflix series Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones. During his exploration, author Dan Buettner travels around the world to places such as Okinawa, Sardinia, Singapore, the Greek islands, and even places in the U.S. to discover the secrets of a long and vibrant life.
Among the variety of strategies for living longer, healthier lives is a focus on movement. Unlike many western societies where lifestyles can be fairly sedentary, it is pleasing to see the simple practices of physical daily chores and walking comprise a majority component of their fitness endeavors.
Where and how can and do your incorporate movement into your days?
How might a few more laps, a bike ride, walking with friends, or taking the stairs add a few more years to your life and life to your years?
“Heart in the oven, head in the fridge.”
Image from Unsplash by Brandon Mowinkel
Over the past month, I’ve been watching the baseball playoffs on TV. When I came upon today’s quote, it seemed to fit perfectly with what I was observing.
These days, sporting events are captured with a wide array of cameras that bring us into the game like never before. Beyond the novel base cam used to watch players sliding into second, the view of the players — especially the pitchers and batters — is even better than the umpires.
In these high stake’s events, it is amazing to see these athletes passionately gear up for their performances and keep a cool head to remain focused and centered.
What personal and professional activities stir your heart and heat things up?
How do you keep your cool and remain focused in your efforts?
“It’s break time for your problem-solving mind.”
Image from Amazon
When do you have the most focus and ability to concentrate in a typical day? What duration of time is optimal before you begin losing this edge? How often do you press on beyond this noticeable decline in effectiveness?
In much the same way our bodies need to rest, renew, and recharge from physical exertion, our minds need periodic breaks to do the same.
Reading is a good example. How long is it before you start rereading the same sentence or need to go back a paragraph or two to comprehend and grasp various types of material?
One strategy that can be helpful is to switch between physical and mental activities to give the other capacity a break. At times when you are using both a total break may be the solution you’re looking for.
Do a google search on various productivity hacks. The Pomodoro Technique and the 20-Minute Rule are two approaches for your consideration.
Your mind is like a bookshelf. You can browse the titles without opening them all.
—Calm App Reflection
Image from Unsplash by Patel Czerwinski
What’s on your mind these days?
How many open tabs, apps, and pages have some or most of your attention? How does jumping from one thing to another at the speed of thought make you feel?
When was the last time you visited an actual book store or library? What was it like to browse through the shelves at a leisurely pace?
How many books did you select and actually open to see if the contents were worth a longer look?
How would patiently browsing through the bookshelf of your mind help you be far more discerning with what you let into the library of your life?
Focus on the shot you are about to take. The game isn’t over till it’s over.
—Calm App Reflection
My five-year-old grandson’s favorite board game is the Hershey edition of Monopoly Junior. Through his play, he is learning numerous life skills as he moves his favorite chocolate bar character around the board. He particularly enjoys rolling the dice, buying properties, passing Go to collect $2, and landing on Chance spaces to see what they reveal.
With each roll of the dice, he sees opportunities to better his chances of winning. When he is a bit behind, he often prefers the other players let him roll again and again. We are still working on good sportsmanship and taking turns.
What games are you currently playing in your personal and professional worlds?
Where are you falling behind and becoming discouraged?
How would greater focus on your next shot — and the next — turn things around?
“It’s hard to build momentum if you are divided in your attention.”
Image from Unsplash by Nubelson Fernandes
Most people are familiar with the phrase “United we stand, divided we fall.” As we nod in agreement, our thoughts often lean toward communities or teams that need to pull together to achieve a worthy goal.
These days, our attention may also include numerous global issues that require a united front.
Today’s quote offers a shift from the macro to the micro.
It points us inward to our individual worlds and frequent forays in multiple directions that often get us nowhere.
Where do you find your attention divided in your personal or professional efforts?
How and where would a more focused approach generate the momentum you need to achieve what you most desire?
“Ambition is a get-a-head-ache.”
Image from Unsplash by Kyle Glenn
For much of my life, I’ve been pretty ambitious. How about you?
Examine your school years, sports, and even sibling rivalries — how much did you want to get ahead and stay ahead?
Where have your ambitions served you well?
Where have they caused you to stumble and experience pain?
Where is getting ahead of others driving your every action, and where is it driving you crazy?
How might you relieve the ache of ambition by focusing on getting ahead of yourself instead of always taking on the world?
Keep your attention on your present moment efforts. Forget the summit and focus on each step of your journey.
Image from Unsplash by Alessandro Erbetta
As kids on road trips, we kept asking our dad: Are we there yet? Most of our trips took less than two hours, but our “ants in our pants” impatience made them seem like eternity.
When our own children were young, Wendy and I lived in Michigan. Most of our road trips were ten to twelve hours, heading back east to visit family, and of course, our annual trip to the Pocono Mountains. With better car radios, cassette recorders, games, and interesting places to stop along the way, I don’t recall ever hearing those four little words.
How focused are you these days in reaching your personal and professional summits?
How would greater appreciation of the steps along the way make your journeys even more memorable and remarkable?
“A day is a perfect span of time to dedicate to a different intention—to focus in prayer or meditation on the good of another.”
—Arthur C. Brooks, American author, public speaker, and academic
Image from Unsplash by Lucian Alexe
1440 is one of my daily reads to keep informed about what’s going on in the world. I have found its content impartial, allowing me to draw my own conclusions. 1440 also happens to be the number of minutes in a day.
Reading this curated source of information usually takes me about five minutes, leaving me 1,435 to direct my attentions and intentions to matters I consider important.
How do you fill up your typical day? How many of your 1440 minutes are used purposely, to better yourself and do good within your various communities?
How can you dedicate the coming rotation of the earth to some new or different intention? What will be your focus and who do you plan to serve?