“Give whatever you are doing and whoever you are with the gift of your attention.” -Jim Rohn
We all get busy. We have responsibilities to meet. We have coworkers and superiors expecting things from us. We have ambitions and goals, things we want to improve in ourselves and our lives. I suspect that underneath it all, what we really want is to make a difference for other people.
And yet, ironically, in that pursuit, we often fail to make a difference for the people we know and love.
My mother gets out of work every day between 6:00 and 7:00, which is between 3:00 and 4:00 my time. She often calls me on her way home to catch up, something I value since she lives so far away. And yet there have been times when I've engaged in conversation with her while answering emails, Skype chatting, and toggling numerous screens on my computer.
Even though I work for myself and have absolutely no reason to multi-task that call, I do it sometimes because I feel so wrapped up in what I'm doing that I don't want to stop.
I have realized, however, that this not only creates a disconnection between us, it also undermines the other things I'm juggling. It's essentially a message that says, “No one and nothing else is important as my need to be optimally productive.”
This means that it also compromises my integrity, since I say that I value my relationships and my projects.
In our gadget-dominated world, full attention is a rare gift, and not just for the person who receives it. It's also a gift to us. It allows us to let go of everything that's flashing in our brains, like one too many instant messages, and fully immerse ourselves in the simplicity of a moment.
It allows to connect, create, and collaborate with focused intention, without distractions. It's a choice to honor and fully appreciate what's right in front of us.
Today if you find yourself only half-listening or half-focusing, remember: Your attention is your most valuable gift, for other people and yourself.