Not everything deserves our attention.
I remember being ignored as a young child when I was not on my best behaviour. My mother taught me through her response that I will only get attention if I behave. Thinking back, when I was about four or five, my mother was heavily pregnant with my younger sister, it was not possible for her to give her 100% attention to me.
Isn’t life the same? It is just not possible to give 100% attention to everything in our lives. Something has got to give. I prefer to ignore things that do not improve my life, do good or make me a better person.
We pay attention to too much these days. In this social media age, it is almost as if we can’t help but pay attention to stuff and everything. It is just in our faces, 24/7.
On top of it all, we pay too much attention to how we feel when we get hooked on other people’s social media postings. When we start comparing our lives with the lives of others, the lower ego just wants to hook in its tentacles of negative emotions into our system and suck all the joy and happiness out of us because it is only doing its job. We, on the other hand, are not entirely doing our job of staying in joy and happiness. We feel let down by others or by ourselves, thinking that we are not as good as others and we are undeserving, and so the spiral goes on. We are just paying too much attention to stuff that does not matter to us.
We also pay too much attention to other people’s opinions. I hear too many people say things like; I don’t care what other people think. Well, if you do not care, you wouldn’t care even to make that statement! The fact that you also said it, only means you have put some thought into it, giving it too much attention to warrant this sort of response.
So what is enough attention? How do we strike a balance of paying attention to what matters and what doesn’t? And how do we even know what is worth paying attention to when there is so much stuff out there!
I use a filtering system in my mind to make split-second decisions on what matters. It’s an easy filter consisting of FIVE WORDS.
Does it give me joy?
Every time I come across people, their opinions, their social media posts, whatever it may be, my filter goes, Does it give me joy? I get my answer. If it gives me the joy to see other people happy, I say so; I support it with all my heart. If it gives me the joy to pick up something new as part of my work, I do it wholeheartedly. Because I believe in doing something well or not at all.
This filtering system is so easy because when it comes to things that do not matter, eg. opinions of other people of how you should live your life, the answer is obvious and I just go about my life, my way, no matter what others say or how they gossip about behind my back.
However, this simple filtering system does not work as efficiently when it comes to my loved ones. I believe it has to be taken one notch up because your loved ones matter more and so more attention and care must be given to them. So instead of the simple filtering system, I take time to listen to their negative voices sometimes. But when it becomes too much, as they do when it comes to loved ones and family, I automatically ask myself:
Do I choose peace and love?
This question gives me somewhat of an answer on how to deal with the situation at hand. It is not always perfect, but hey, it is a learning process.
Join me, and make “Does it give me joy?” your mantra today 🙂
© 2017 Shamala Tan
Shamala Tan is an author, spiritual entrepreneur and healer. Her work focuses on transforming the lives of others on the spiritual, emotional, mental and earthly level.
One of her success stories as an author is to be featured alongside New York’s bestsellers Sonia Choquette, Robert Allen, Arielle Ford, Marci Shimoff as well as Christine Kloser in the book Pebbles In The Pond.
Shamala’s clients include small business owners, holistic practitioners as well as those seeking to find more significant meaning and value in life. Shamala offers laser coaching to her clients on a one-to-one basis or in a group environment, offline as well as online.