Saturday, April 28, 2007

The Law of Attraction (I mean, Attention)

I want to think about a saying I hate (because it has a cutesy Hallmark Cards quality) and love (because I agree with the concept):

Energy flows where attention goes."

Ohmygoshwow! It's the Law of Attraction!

No. It's physics. Performing any mental, physical, or emotional action requires energy. Thinking, exercising, grieving, loving, laughing, walking, working... it all takes energy. So of course, if I'm focusing my attention on (i.e., thinking about) a math test, my neurons are firing and energy is being expended toward that math test.

The more pertinent question, in my opinion, is: How much energy? How well is it being focused? And what measurable difference does it make?

If I sit on the couch thinking about all the ways I could eat better, but I shove potato chips and chocolate into my mouth because that's what I've got on hand, I'm not going to lose weight. If I focus on how beautiful my body will look once I've dropped 30 pounds, but I never get off the couch, my mirror will persist in displaying the same overweight image.

My attention is on eating better, until I get hungry; then, my attention focuses on convenience.

Hypnosis, NLP and NVC can be used to train the subconscious mind to focus attention in ways that serve our outcomes. Steps involve slowing down and noticing our habitual behaviors. Then, asking better questions:
  • Where am I putting my attention?
  • What am I feeling?
  • As I decide how to act, what factors am I paying attention to?
  • What needs or outcomes are in play?
  • Will the action I plan to take block me from my goal, or get me closer to it?
Making a decision -- to lose weight, find a new job, repair a marriage, increase compassion -- is a great step. Focusing attention on what you want is also a great step. But without action, attention, decision, and focus won't change anything.

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