I heard the birds chirping this morning. It was a strange sound and it caught me off guard. As I got out of my car at work there was a flock of birds above me in the tree, all chirping away (or were they tweeting?). It certainly caught my attention because it was very unusual for this time of the year, and something I hadn’t heard in a while. Wow I thought, is spring coming early? Or are these birds just being fooled by the moderate weather of the past week? The birds chirping is a sound that I often would have overlooked, in the spring it would just blend into the background, but not today, today it caught my attention. And it sounded beautiful.
I once had a professor who taught me that “whatever you give attention to will grow”. I’ve found this to be a powerful statement. And this can apply to many things. Think about growing a garden, physical activity, or studying in school. I’ve never seen a garden grow when it isn’t watered, and I don’t think anyone has won a marathon without training. Some of you may have passed a test by cramming the night before, but I’m sure that was a bit lucky. And don’t get me started on relationships, I would surmise that relationships that fail are often ones that haven’t been given the attention they need. It’s sad, but true.
I’ve always tried to teach my kids that if you want to get better at something, you need to…practice! Yes, that’s it, if you want to get better at something you need to work at it, give it the time and attention it deserves. Not many of us can roll out of bed in the morning and hit a 90 mph fastball, or write a screenplay, or construct a finely made piece of furniture out of wood. If you want to be good at something, you need to work at it!
So as we slowly move into the New Year, perhaps it is time to think about to what or whom do we need to give more attention? Perhaps we are out of balance in life, and need to give more attention to our mind, body, or spirit, or perhaps we need to look outward and give attention to family, friends, or our neighbors. Time passes quickly, so don’t wait to re-focus your attention. Be intentional with your attention.
“What you give attention to grows. If your attention is attracted to negative situations and emotions, then they will grow in your awareness.”
- Deepak Chopra