Updated: Jul 28
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Here's a question: would you rather feel happy or sad?
Would you rather feel clear or confused?
And would you rather feel confident or doubtful?
And, of course, the answer immediately comes back: happy, clear, confident.
But then we have to ask ourselves if that's really true, if we do prefer quite obviously happiness and confidence and clarity and the like, why is it that we spend so much time feeling anything but?
Now, most people will tell you it's because of the circumstance they're in, because life's not going the way that they want it to. But the truth is different from that because the fact is that you are, I am, we all are creators of our experience.
We are creators of our experience.
Now, to be clear, I'm not suggesting we are creators of our circumstance. We cannot control our circumstance - that is, what's happening around us, the situation that we find ourselves in.
Sure, there are little things that we can do to help it along its way, but sometimes life serves you lemons, and sometimes it's lemonade and sometimes you can't do anything about it.
So, when we say we're creators of our experience, we're talking about our inside experience;
the thoughts and the feelings that we have.
Now, for most people, they are not particularly engaged or deliberate about creating their experience, and so it feels like they're more like victims of their circumstance.
But here's the thing that you need to understand; in any given moment, in this given moment, there are thousands of things happening right here and now.
And your attention is a lot like this camera, that in this moment I could choose to snap a picture of that or of that, or of that, or of this, or the other.
Some of the many things that are happening in this moment are uplifting and nourishing, and some of the many things in this moment are maybe depressing and debilitating.
And where I choose to place the camera of my attention - the photo that I choose to snap in this moment - is one little piece of the photo album that will be my experience of my day.
As I move through my day
I am snap, snap, snap, snap, snap,
brick by brick,
snapshot by snapshot,
moment by moment,
building my experience of my day.
And so, from this, it becomes really obvious that it's critically important that we deliberately manage what we attend to in each moment.
It's not to say that we should never focus on the negative because there are some negative things that, by all means, need our attention, that we need to in some way manage or attend to. But, it's also true that for most of us, because we don't manage the camera of our attention in a deliberate way, in a way that serves our desire for happiness and clarity and confidence and so much more, that our attention gets hijacked.
It gets hijacked by the negative.
It gets hijacked by the troubling.
It gets hijacked by the problems.
And we end up at the end of the day, having this overwhelmingly negative and debilitating photo album, a negative experience that is negative and unhelpful for no other reason than it didn't occur to me to manage my attention in a deliberate way that served my real intention for happiness and clarity and confidence.
So, with this insight, the invitation becomes
to us all
to be deliberate,
to take control of attention.
And create the day, the experience, that you want to create, rather than leaving it over to the whims of circumstance.