Who Are You Gifting Your Focus?
I’m a huge believer in the phrase: energy flows where attention goes.
Since I’ve been focusing on boosting my listening skills the last few weeks, it’s no surprise that my antennae have been picking up listening signals and signs at lightning speed.
That being said, it was no shock when this splash of cold water to the face, provided by the multi-talented Austin Kleon, made its way into my inbox:
“Don’t speak unless you can improve the silence.”
Short and sweet.
Stops you in your tracks, doesn’t it?
Being a natural-born talker I need this tattooed on my forehead. But, since I’m not that brave, (Cue: palms up weighing Brave? Stupid?) it’s written down and slapped to the wall in front of my desk as a reminder to be aware of what I’m contributing and why. It forces me to listen better to myself and my surroundings.
Last week I kicked off a listening TRY-Angle 3-part series with how clearing a little space in the morning for me time can help set the listening tone for your day.
Now, it’s time to sniff a little bit further down the rabbit hole.
Our surge of social media has blurred the lines of what speaking and listening mean. We are doing both every time we’re writing, posting, liking, following and sending. It’s not just our actions but our reactions that speak volumes of who we are.
It’s like our bud, Ralph says “Who you are speaks so loudly, I can’t hear what you’re saying.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
What we really need to be doing is paying attention to what we are listening to.
Here’ s how:
TRY-Angling: Your social media towards inspiring intake.
We are the sum total of the 5 people we spend the most time with.
Think about that for a minute.
Seeing as the majority of us are spending that time online — whoever we are consuming becomes part of who we are spending our time with — like it or not.
If our ears are clogged with noise and distraction and we’re thirsting for substance, then we are WAY more apt to fall prey to slurping down the comatose social media slushy than when we’re clear-minded and focused.
Scrolling on anything short of uplifting and inspiring is a waste of your precious time. Plain and simple. If it doesn’t make you feel better or do better — not worth it. We do not have time to listen to noise.
Time for some summa summa summa time social media cleaning. Stat!
Go through and weed out what’s not helping you. Just like a garden that looks clean, calm and inviting once the weeds are pulled — same with your news feed. The weak etiquette of the reciprocal obligation to follow or friend someone who you would really rather not, is causing more harm than good. Who are you allowing to receive the gift of your focus? It IS a gift. Choose wisely.
There are smooth little ways to have tech energy vampires disappear from your feeds. The innocent don’t have to know — so hurt feelings are saved all around.
Past the point of no return? Sometimes a full-on weekend off the grid with a digital detox is exactly what’s needed. If you want to be so kind as to give people the heads up: stick one of these bad boys on your feed.
It’s not about cutting ourselves off from the world. It’s about paying attention to what we are listening to and why.
PAY ATTENTION to what you are paying attention to.
Then, and only then, are we able to concentrate, create, and collaborate from a place of inspiration and understanding.
Worded perfectly by Bernadette Jiwa in her book, “Hunch”:
“We do good work when we give ourselves the opportunity to do it. This requires a two-pronged approach. It’s not just about changing our behaviors. It’s also about a mind-set shift that prioritizes the things that deserve our time, commitment and focus, just as much as the demands made upon us by whatever we’re being “notified” is important in the moment.”
So, if energy flows where attention goes — make sure yours is bringing the best of who you are into the world.
Okay, so you summer cleaned like a champ and you’re left with a clean slate.
Here are a few of my inspirational faves worthy of my focus (and maybe yours too):
When I need a reminder:
to explore (added bonus for day trip ideas!)
to get the hell off Instagram
Above all else, it comes down to this: Is what you’re listening to helping or hurting who you are? You have the choice of who gets your ears or earmuffs. Make it count.