Some things in life are beyond our control, but fortunately, Intention is not one of them. It is always under our purview when we point our minds to something, whether in our goals, plans, mantras, etc. However, our minds naturally take us in different directions in response to the continual pulls on our attention. Stimuli like these can either be internal, like a sensation or thought, or external such as sight, sound, and even more complex demands in our surroundings.
With the responsibilities that modern living stipulates and the ever-growing digital onslaught, it’s no surprise that many people feel overwhelmed and scattered. Studies show that digital activity is exponentially at an all-time high, with 90% of the world’s overall data being created only two years back! At this point, it is safe to say that people need to get intentional with where they put their attention in order not to sway from their goals.
Attention and Intention, in plain words
Generally, attention refers to the cognitive process of concentration, selecting some stimuli and focusing on them while turning out others. It is also an individual’s behavior to focus on the human body’s five senses. On the contrary, Intention is a broader concept referring to the meaning or overarching motivation that drives cognition or behavior. Sometimes we’re aware of our intentions; other times, we’re not. They can fall along a continuum of wholesome engagements such as giving without expecting any return, or the exact opposite, like being propelled by ego, seeking approval, or getting into the unhealthy competition.
Why attention with Intention is paramount
Let this be something to munch on – what we pay attention to and how we act on it accordingly shape our experiences of life itself. For example, if we devote a considerable chunk of our time in a day reading the news alone, it’ll probably fill us with thoughts, and we end up overthinking while we do nothing as an act. On the other hand, if we stay informed while allocating enough time to perform constructive endeavors, healthy engagement, connecting with others, keeping in mind our health, and so on, we’re more apt to feel positive and fulfilled at the end of the day, despite what goes on in the global stage.
This speaks volumes about “how” we pay attention. Identifying and reflecting on our deeper intentions is significant because it provides a map from which we can always leverage and return, giving guidance on how to be our best and most productive selves.
Our two cents: What we focus on grows. The more time we invest engaging our minds in a specific way, reinforcing desired thoughts and conduct, the more powerful those neural pathways, or habits, become.
Not many may realize this, but “attention” is one of humanity’s superpowers! When properly channeled, it can make a huge difference and move mountains. Use it wisely and make a conscious effort in what you aim to develop personally, in relationships, career paths, or in the community. Simultaneously, identifying and consistently returning to Intention is one way to effectively balance the two different yet relevant elements.