I haven't written in this blog for a while. Life has been really hectic with putting the finishing touches together for my upcoming book, Grieving the Loss of a Love: How to Embrace Grieve to Find True Hope and Healing, which is being released next week on December 14th.
I started this journey into writing a book a few months ago. It's been a really fun process, but a revealing one as well. I learned that there are a lot of directions a writer can become pulled in. It left me feeling overwhelmed, distracted, without focus or purpose sometimes.
There is a lot out there—blogs, advice, services, courses, all competing for a writer's attention. And a large part of writing and authoring books is marketing. There is a lot of advice, like 'make sure to tweet multiple times a day', 'use Pinterest to lead people to your blog using images that are vertical and 800 x 1200 pixels', 'design lead magnets', 'place a call to action at the end of your blog post', etc, etc, etc...
Reading all this, I realized that if I were to follow everything, I would soon find myself very far away from what it is that I love and am passionate about which is writing books that people connect with and which give rise to hope.
A lot of things in our lives compete for our attention. But we have a choice and can decide where it goes.
John Turrant said:
“Attention is the most basic form of love; through it we bless and are blessed.”
And I think that is so true. What we give our attention to shapes our lives. It's what shapes our waking thoughts, emotions, and world. Our attention is what determines what our lives are about.
Is it about family and friends?
Or is it about your career?
Is it about doing something you are passionate about?
Or is it about God, knowing him and loving him more deeply?
We all have different answers to this question.
And so in the midst of all these things competing for attention,
Let's reclaim it and be present in the ways that we desire to be.
Here are some tips that I've found helpful in refocusing attention:
- Take time to reflect. Spend some time on your own, reflecting on your life, how you spend your time, and the direction it is going in. Assess what's going on in your life. Doing this can help you realize that you have a choice of how to respond and where to direct your attention.
- Think of what is important to you. What do you want your life to be about? What would a meaningful life look like for you? If you were to die today, what would you have wanted your life to be about?
- Explore different values. It's helpful to consciously identify your values and make decisions that honor them. Values are like guiding principles toward a true north. One way to explore values is to do what is called a values card sort, which you can find here. It's also helpful to look at lists of values, like this one, which includes things like adventure, faith, creativity, wisdom, stability.
- Live your values. Take actions that are consistent with your values. When you live in ways that are consistent with your values, you feel whole, complete, fulfilled. Live your truth.
Take a moment to make a list of your values. It can be the very thing that opens your life to all its possibility.