Give the Gift of Your Attention

Give whatever you are doing and whomever you are talking with the gift of your attention. Jim Rohn

My thoughts on mindfulness resonated with many yesterday. There are three words, or concepts, that play well together–attention, focus, and mindfulness.

In my youth, I loved the murder mystery series by Earle Stanley Gardner about the legendary attorney, Perry Mason. There was a comment Gardner made about Mason’s personality that stuck. “He had such great power of concentration that he could move from the murder case he was on to complete concentrate on another case.”

Our current age is marked by “multi-tasking.” That’s a term borrowed from microprocessor hardware developement. Chips can be so designed that they partition off parts and can therefore support many tasks running simultaneously. Humans think they can do the same thing. (Actually, the chips usually use “time slicing” where moving at an extremely rapid speed, they work on each task a little at a time and it only appears to the much slower humans that the tasks are accomplished simultaneously.)

Humans cannot multi-task. Period. Humans can try time-slicing. Doesn’t work well.

When you are at a task, give it the gift of your attention. When you are in conversation with someone, give that person the gift of your attention (ouch, my weakness at times).

There is a mindfulness diet. It’s not what you eat (but please make good choices). It’s how you eat. What was the taste of the last thing you ate? The texture? Are you like so many humans who eat so quickly that the flavors and textures are lost in the speed of eating?

In the mindfulness diet, take a bite of food. Stop your hand and arm motion. Chew the food with attention. Notice the flavors, aromas, textures. Enjoy it. Then, and only then, take the next bite. By slowing down and becoming aware of the food, we actually eat less. For most of the people in the world, that’s a good thing.

Don’t fall into a trap thinking this is only a Buddhist or New Age concept. If you carefully read the stories about Jesus, not for what he said, but to gain a sense of how he acted and related. He had marvelous powers of concentration and focus. Remember him being startled by the woman who touched him seeking healing? He was concentrating elsewhere when he felt energy leaving him.

Thank you for your attention đŸ˜‰

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