By Jeff Copper, MBA, PCC, PCAC, CPCC, ACG – January 30, 2023
Do you control what you pay attention to? Think about it! On the one hand, we have politicians, marketers, and corporate America all fighting to gain control of what we pay attention to for their own self-serving benefit. On the other hand, we have our pets, friends, parents, kids, and significant others all desperately vying for us to pay attention to them. Let’s face it, paying attention is hard work! It takes effort… and lots of it.
Isn’t it a lot easier to let others direct our attention to what they want us to focus on? Isn’t it easier for someone to give us what we need rather than figure it out on our own? Of course, it is! The problem is that, when you surrender control of what you pay attention to, those politicians, marketers, and corporate America will tell you what you want but not what you need.
For example, you need to change your diet, but you are sold liposuction instead. You need to manage your money better, but you are sold something on credit. You need a secure and reliable computer operating system, but you are sold a new, unsecured system every three years. We need our politicians to address the national debt, but we are sold on tax cuts and new benefits.
Here’s the big problem with this. When you gain the weight back after liposuction, go bankrupt from buying on credit, lose your identity because your computer was hacked, and find your taxes going up while you’re losing benefits, you then find yourself unhappy, unfulfilled, and certainly not where you want to be in life… and you wonder why.
Maintaining control is not an easy thing to do, especially when there is a war going on for your attention. This war started in the 1960s, continued to grow in the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s and goes on today at an accelerated rate. This phenomenon is why I believe coaching as an industry was born… to help people reclaim control of what they pay attention to… to help them pause and notice themselves. Let me illustrate.
Imagine a man sitting in a La-Z-Boy recliner across from a television. Now, observe him as he watches TV for an hour. What you are likely to notice is that there is very little motion and only the light of the TV flickering upon his face and body. Is that the image of a fulfilling life to you? That image is the reality for millions and millions of people. No wonder so many folks are lost, depressed, and unhappy.
Now, let me ask you again: Do you control what you pay attention to? Or do you passively focus on what is presented to you, what is easy, and what others want you to notice? If it is the latter, then I ask you: Do you want your life to be controlled like a puppet (a marionette), or do you want to take control of what you pay attention to?
I challenge you to take control of your attention! It might be hard but do it anyway or hire a coach to help you. The bottom line is this: Do whatever it takes to take control of what you pay attention to! If you do, you might be surprised by what you can accomplish and how happy you might find yourself.