Get attention or pay attention?

In my role as a facilitator, I’m an expert on nothing really, but I know one thing; I do get lots of attention.

Stood in front of people, all listening to my every word, doing the things I ask them to do. It’s a nice feeling. It’s a powerful feeling.

Attention’s nice isn’t it?

So, how many followers do you have on Twitter? Instagram? How many friends do you have on Facebook?

All that attention. You know, having so many people reading what you say, looking at your pictures, leaving comments, likes, smiles and loves. Getting all of this attention, it’s quite empowering. It gives you a really nice feeling.

But, do you think you have enough, or would you like more? More followers, more friends, more attention?

Getting all that attention can give you a great feeling, but in reality, it’s short term. Let’s be honest, we’re never satisfied. We crave even more. If you got 25 likes last time, you ask yourself why you haven’t had more this time. That was a better picture, a really funny comment! Why haven’t more people commented on your post?

Well, instead of posts, pictures and likes, take a minute to think about your role and your job. How do you get attention there?

Do you use your status? Your experience? Your gender? Your diversity?

At work, are you driven by the need to get attention?

We already know, whether it’s an Instagram post or asking a work colleague to do something for you, it’s a stimulus and you’re waiting for the response. The better the response, the more attention you get, the more fulfilled you feel.

But what if your colleague doesn’t do what you asked? Or not in the way you wanted? Or not in the way you would have done it? Did they not pay attention to you? Why are they not paying attention to you?

So, do you use your status, your experience, your gender, your diversity to get it? To get that attention?

The more you want attention, the less satisfied you become. The unhappier you become. It’s a means to an end.

Maybe It’s time to change your mindset?

Instead of trying to get attention, why don’t you try to pay attention?

By paying attention to one thing, you become more focused. It’s like a magic spell, your attention narrows, everything else just goes away, anything that might bother you or try and grab your attention, fades into the background.

Also, look at your colleague as a collaborator, just pay attention to them, respond to what they are doing and they, in turn, can respond to you.

Remember, you’re not in a competition with your colleague. If you see them as a competitor, you’ll lose your focus, you’ll be thinking about what they are doing or not doing and how they won’t do it properly.

Phycologists talk about flow. It’s what happens to the brain when we focus on one thing more regularly. If you do this, the happier you’ll be, the more you will get done.

So, pay attention. Look at people as collaborators.

Because once you do, it’s easier to find flow. All from just paying attention to one thing. You’ll be there, in the moment.

It can give you an equally powerful feeling.

Take it from a guy who doesn’t let a bus go below 50mph, can kill mobsters with a pencil and has travelled through time with death.

“A simple act of paying attention can take you a long, long way.” – Keanu Reeves.

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