Are you hearing a lot more on these two words? What’s the difference? And, why are they even important?
Have you ever been caught in a sailboat with no wind? You’re left to drift according to the current and there’s not much you can do as you are at the whim of the water. How many people are in their sailboat called life with no wind but do not know it? How about a day in your life where you strayed, got totally off course? Perhaps experienced a day where you had no direction? You woke up, had no real purpose for the day and it just went by. There was no real meaning to the day. That’s the importance of setting an intention.
While we cannot control the wind, we do have the ability to set intentions that direct both the mind and our actions. This creates a defined purpose that keeps us determined to act a certain way — a course of action you intend to follow for the day. Intention holds the key to carry out your wish. Therein lies its power. You set an intention and then follow it through with the action towards its result.
Set your intention daily. Take a few minutes each morning to visualize and/or write what your day will look like — what you want to accomplish. Than let it sit and begin your day. You can revisit and recommit or if needed revise midday. At the end of the day, you can set your next day’s intention. Then dream on it.
Attention is concentrating your mind into a selectively narrow focus by limiting the receptivity of external stimuli. This attentive focus applies the mind to concentrate on a set of objects, tasks or thoughts. I remember being so focused on navigating through shoals in my boat, I missed seeing a deer on an island. It was plain as day as passengers pointed out, but I didn’t see it. I was directing my mind to a specific task – missing rocky shoals! I was ignoring other things to selectively navigate the environment. My focus was narrowed at the expense of the greater picture. For good reason, mind you.
Perhaps you’ve experienced the same thing and have been so tuned into a project or a person you completely miss what’s going on around you. You’re at work, focused and someone approaches you out of nowhere (or so it seems) and it startles you. In that moment, we are trading off seeing the bigger picture to fully concentrate on what the mind is currently focused on. We lose track of time. This is good when we need to maintain sustained awareness. This is not good when we need to “see” what’s going on around us.
Intention and attention are powerful forces and when used in harmony to create action, one sets the course and purpose for the day while the other allows for concentrated focus in getting something done. And, the good news is that we can train ourselves to do both. Plus they can be strengthened with practice as our neurology takes shapes with our continued practice and use. Let me know if you are interested in advancing your results with my just-in-time coaching to help you break through any blocks