Published monthly by Sharon Eakes, Hope Unlimited, LLC
FOCUS: Attention not energy
Disciplines: Mental Models, Personal Mastery, Systems Thinking

"When you face something unpleasant,
give it your attention but not your energy"


This is one of the best pieces of advice I've ever received. I understand it to mean - "don't waste emotional energy." How often do we get all upset, costing us lots of energy, only to discover we've made things worse instead of better?

Here's how you can put this piece of advice to work:

When you face an unpleasant situation, such as:
--> your computer crashes
--> you have to work with someone you don't like
--> you can't find something
--> you have so much to do you feel totally overwhelmed
--> you make a big mistake

say to yourself, "here's one of these situations that deserves my attention but not my energy. I am just not going to get all worked up about it, because it won't help. Instead I'll give it my attention and respond one step at a time."

There are actually two parts to this strategy -
1) Notice that you are in an unpleasant situation - many of us move through the world without noticing. Clues might be the tightening of your neck or jaw or belly, a feeling of rising upset, even panic, becoming reactive to everyone and everything around you.

2) Give the situation attention without emotional energy. This is made easier by practice. Some practice ideas that can help you focus your attention without energy include: paying conscious attention to each step as you walk; concentrating on each movement as you mow the lawn or cook, noticing exactly where you are minute to minute as you drive.

- Pep talk yourself when you face unpleasant situations
- Give the situations your full attention but not your emotional energy.

I'll be on holiday in California next week, so there will be no telegathering. I'd love to hear your responses to this Fresh View, though, so e-mail me!
Reach me: 1-888-907-HOPE (4673)or e-mail I am a personal and executive coach and would be happy to offer you a complimentary coaching session by phone.

Each month FRESH VIEWS focuses on a single topic, relates it to one of the five disciplines of a learning community, and offers a coaching tip and a follow-up telegathering. Please forward it to friends and colleagues. My purpose in writing FRESH VIEWS is to nurture, prod and encourage readers to think and talk about these topics with their families, friends and colleagues. Mine is only one view. Multiple conversations may deliver us to insights only hinted at here. Such a process sustains the vitality of learning relationships, learning families, learning organizations and learning communities.

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