Can you control your attention? The ability to control your attention, to control where you focus your attention, endows you with the ability to create your environment.
The ability to control your focus furnishes you with energy to do work, study, finish projects, succeed in your endeavors when you can see both the whole picture and also the details, and in general, it enables you to react to situations with enough rationality to direct them toward your objectives. You become aware by focusing your attention on something. Before placing your attention on that something, it may not have existed for you.
Now that you focused on it, you became aware of it and it exists for you. By observing you make things alive in your own world. And obversely, when you put less attention on something, it tends to disappear. Is your life precisely what you wish it to be? If not, no matter the reason, you can still learn to control your attention, and thereby, learn to create.
Is your attention being controlled by external events when everything disturbs you, when the smallest rustling distracts you? If that is the case, then you certainly don’t know how to handle energy. When instead of being directed by you, your attention is controlled by external events, then your energy too is controlled by external events.
We have minds to learn how to handle energy. People who have a high concentration level, who can control the flow of their attention, appea to have more energy than others do. It’s not that they have more energy — they simply know how to handle it better. But you can control it. You see, usually, when not working on it, awareness, or one's attention is guided, controlled by outside events: by emotions, unwanted emotions, the chattering of the mind, etc.
However, when you work on it and develop your control, consciousness is the one directing the awareness, and that's as it should be. Individuals with easily dispersed attention often seem to act neurotically. They feel they have too many unfinished tasks on their conscience. They get into something, then something else comes up and they give that something else attention while they leave the first thing unattended and so on and so on. Too many loose ends.
They seldom finish things before going on to the next thing, and yet they leave their attention on the unfinished projects or wishes. They don't even end them in their minds, so they are kept in a constant state of distraction, their concentration dispersed, and then they judge themselves on all those things they haven't done. Learning to control one’s attention could cure many disorders.Your energy is your ability to focus your attention where you wish.
Perhaps, you keep playing the same record in your brain, disabled by the automatic repetitions of babble. Maybe your attention is stuck in past events, thinking that if you had only said this or that, then… whatever, or maybe you hold onto all those terrible things that were done to you. When your attention is trapped in past unfulfilled wills, you have less attention, less energy to carry on. If you become more in control of your attention, you can learn to let go and thus become involved in the present rather than in the past. For that to occur, however, you need to know how to control your attention.
Of course, you could be one of those who lack self-confidence, which is the result of being too self-conscious, which means your attention is stuck on yourself. This may be the result of being afraid of critical attention. If that’s the case, then you should turn your attention outward instead of focusing it on the self. That’s listening. I call listening everything that has to do with putting your attention outside yourself. Listening can be achieved by being interested in the other instead of being interested in oneself.
Self-confidence is the ability to not focus upon yourself, the ability to give others your full attention. But since your attention is curved back on you, the external world goes unnoticed and you are either unaware or uninterested in others’ predicaments or joys. Because your attention is trapped in the narrow circle described between you and you, there is not much left over for others. When you direct your attention on yourself, you don't direct it upon others. Then these others can't feel you care for them. To really experience — and this has been a great secret — you should experience others by being them, loving them, without expecting something miraculous to happen as a result of this act.
The pure joy of being, existing, is the greatest miracle.How to love would be a relevant question here. The first thing in learning to love is to be Nothing. This means not being beautiful or ugly, happy or unhappy, not this and not that, just being and then seeing — seeing other life forms and listening to them. This means that all your attention is on them, not on yourself. You see them and become them as much as you can. You feel what they feel. You participate in their hopes, loves, whatever, and then it is only natural that you want to make them happy by giving them what they want because you are no longer separate from them. You are they, so you would do unto them what you would have done unto yourself — only it is their wish you fulfill. You are they when you want the same, and since you have gone through being Nothing, you can be anything and you are able to love anyone.
Being self-centered is often the result of a fear of criticism, of what-will-others-think-of-me. Wanting to be accepted and loved, one can become wary of not being accepted and loved. This vigilance is achieved by constantly searching for revealing signs and statements uttered by others to detect what they think of you. Such behavior may be misconceived as attentiveness, and yet what is the self-conscious person really interested in? In the other? No. He is interested in himself through the other. That is still curving one’s attention back on oneself, investing in looking good in the eyes of the other.
Be the actor, not the act. When your whole world is you and only you, it is a small world and you are the act. When you are interested in others, when you can turn your attention outward, then you are the actor, and then you are the world, the big world
As long as your attention is on yourself instead of the joy of doing and acting, you draw critical attention back at you and you receive evaluations. When you enhance your self as the object, then it is you who is getting graded and judged, not the act. This is why you feel you are losing confidence in yourself. Enjoy the doing and you will see the difference. Stop dreaming of how you will be admired, and instead, revel in acting out the different parts, sense the feelings and emotions of the roles. That makes the whole difference.