The Smithsonian recently published an article on “inattentional blindness,” or in other words selective attention. The article was written based on an experimental minute and a half video asking viewers to count how many times a ball is caught by the individuals in white shirts (www.smithsonian.com/gorilla). There is something amazing that over 50% of the viewers miss when watching the video.
The human mind is an amazing tool. What we give our attention to dictates the reality we see in our world. According to the Smithsonian, “we consciously see only a small subset of our visual world, and when our attention is focused on one thing, we fail to notice other, unexpected things around us, including those things we might want to see.”
I believe that every prayer is always answered and the reason many of us believe that they are not are for two reasons: Number one, we are expecting it to show up in a certain way (the way we want it to) and when it does not show up how or when we want it, we assume it went unanswered. Number two, our attention is focused on either the past or the future and never in the present. We are “in our minds” most of the time. When we give our energy (or attention) to reliving a past upset in our minds over and over again or worrying/stressing about an unknown future event, a miracle could pass right in front of our eyes and we will miss it. It happens every day. Trust me.
How many times in your life have you been so focused on one thing that a bomb can go off around you and you wouldn’t even notice? How many times have you been so bent on being right that you fail to see (are blind to) other people’s point of view? How many times have you been so focused on what is going wrong in your life that you miss the beautiful blessings that are in it?
This year has been a time of change for many of us. I have noticed what I call a “black or white” effect; people are either doing the work they need to do on themselves and are experiencing joy and dreams coming true or people are not doing the work they need to do on themselves and are experiencing turmoil, upsets and loss. There is not a middle ground anymore. The difference between these two sets of people is where they are choosing to focus their attention. Abundance or lack? Giving or receiving? Joy or sadness? Where you focus your attention is a choice. Are you choosing to focus your attention on what you have in your life or what is missing?
I just spent the last week on the East Coast after moving to Arizona in July. I decided to move to Arizona because for over a year I felt a strong pull I cannot put into words to move. I wasn’t sure where I was supposed to move but I did know it was out west somewhere. Before I moved I experienced many synchronistic events that confirmed for me that I was making the right decision; such as the owner of the house I am renting in Arizona by chance being the neighbor of my assistant Ruth who lives in Pennsylvania. It was very odd for me being on the East Coast again so soon after my move; I felt as if I was trying to fit into a life in which I no longer belonged. Old friendships were not the same, places did not feel the same and I could not shake the feeling of “wanting to go home” the entire week. I loved seeing my daughters but was haunted by old memories, sadness around changes in relationships and an overwhelming sense of joy for having the courage to follow my urgings to move. I found myself having to pay attention to what I was choosing to focus on; the things in my life that are naturally coming to an end or the new and beautiful things that are coming into my life.
Change is scary sometimes; there is no doubt about that. But one thing I have learned is that change is the only thing we can count on in life. It is how you choose to view the changes that are occurring in your life that makes all of the difference. Choose to have vision, not blindness. Choose to be present-focused so you can see your answered prayers in the form of miracles showing up in your life daily. Your life is a blessing; choose to believe it!
“The trick is what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same…” ~Carlos Castaneda
Where is your attention focused today?
Chris Sopa is founder and owner of Chris Sopa International, Inc. You can learn more about her at www.ChrisSopa.com. Find her at Facebook.com/ChrisSopaInternational, Twitter @ChrisSopa, LinkedIn, and Google+.