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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Pay Attention

It is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but it is what comes out of the mouth that defiles...what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this is what defiles...In everything do to others as you would have them do to you.
~ Jesus

Most of what we think, say, and do in life goes unnoticed.  Sorry, but it's true. Many of us are not even aware of our own thoughts, words, and actions much less those of others, or theirs of ours.  Someone once said, "We wouldn't worry so much about what people think of us if we only knew how seldom they do."   

So, why should we even care?  Here are two good reasons:

#1 - Because what we think determines what we say and do, even when we are unaware of what we are thinking.  Our brains are constantly at work, even when we are sleeping.  Much of this work is unconscious and automatic to keep our bodies functioning.  However, neuroscience has shown us that even those brain functions are altered by the conscious thoughts.  What we think really does matter. We literally become and are our thoughts.

#2 - Because we never know which thought, word, or action of ours will affect someone else.  We rarely know when someone is paying attention, or not.  How many times have we thought we were paying attention to someone but realized our thoughts were a million miles away?  How often does an unexpected smile, kind word, or pleasant tone from someone catch us by surprise and stay with us?  So why not pay more attention to what we are projecting into other people's lives.

You can probably think of many more reasons as to why we should care about our thoughts, words, and actions.  But now the question is, how do we do this? 

Take a look back at the first words of this blog - Most of what we think, say, and do in life goes unnoticed.  We can change this by simply paying more attention to what we are thinking, and in turn saying and doing.  When we are mindful of our inner lives our outer lives begin to reflect that awareness.   

Even if no one else notices, we do.  And that should be enough, because we spend more time with ourselves that with anyone else.  

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