The Power of Attention

There’s a common misconception associated with the Law of Attraction, which may be expressed thus: When I get this or achieve that, I will be happy. Due to this ill-conceived belief, many individuals spend their entire life striving to reach goals which–if and when achieved–bring little more than momentary happiness. When such occurs, most dreamers automatically reach for an even grander goal, in the futile hope that it will yield the happiness they seek. The error is to believe that an object, position, achievement, or even a person can ever be the source of true joy.

How, then, can we experience the joy we desire? If objects and people and status and achievement cannot yield the happiness we desire, what can? The true answer: Our essential nature, which is joy, itself. There, in the transcendent beauty of Self, we may know firsthand the joy that is already ours. If it has eluded us thus far, it’s only because we’ve been searching in the wrong direction–outward instead of inward. Toward this truth, I offer a quote by Paulo Coelho for contemplation: “You can become blind by seeing each day as a similar one. Each day is a different one, each day brings a miracle of its own. It’s just a matter of paying attention to this miracle.”

Attention is like a flashlight that we direct. Through it, we’re able to shine the light of consciousness in whatever direction we desire. We can shine it here–on war, famine, politics gone wrong, and crimes against humanity; or we can shine it there–on love, on family, on friends, on food in our belly, and a roof over our head. What an amazing power we possess! In any given moment, we may direct our attention to whatever we choose. If we live consciously, the choice is ours.

Does this mean we must toss our dreams aside and leave them in the dust? Not at all. We may still proceed with our dreams–the new house or car, the great career, world travel, the loving relationship–but with a wise approach. The problem of dissatisfaction only arises when we mistake our dreams as the source of our happiness–not a complement to it! When we live the wiser way, we’re going to discover a mysterious paradox: It’s when we’re most joyful within, that we manifest most successfully without.

Our joy is neither a million dollars away, nor the highest mountain climbed away. It’s neither a mansion away, nor a perfect lover away. It’s not a sports car away, a rich stock portfolio away, or a great travel destination away. Our joy is here, in this very moment–todayAnd the key that will open this truth as experience? GRATITUDE. By centering our mind in the peace of the present moment, we will be surprised at what we discover. With the aim of discovering your inner joy, please contemplate the following list with a grateful heart:

  • A breath exhaled slowly, followed by the miracle of another breath inhaled.
  • The warmth of summer sun on our back.
  • A hug from–or given to–a loved one; or the memory of such.
  • The first sip of coffee in the morning.
  • A barefoot walk across carpet or a sandy beach.
  • Bread and butter, for what it signifies: we have food.
  • Eyes closed, and then opened to reveal the miracle of sight.
  • The smell of crisp clean air.
  • Beethoven’s glorious “Ode to Joy,” or even more sublime, the words “I love you.”
  • A drink of cool water…and thirst quenched.

The doorway to our transcendent state of joy cannot be found in the future; it cannot be entered tomorrow or next week or next year. The threshold to our joy is here, in the ever-present, eternal NOW. The moments of our life come but once, bearing gifts both big and small. The question is, Will we receive the best this life can offer by using our attention wisely?

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,


Copyright © – 2020 – R. Arthur Russell

P.S. Please share this article if you enjoyed it. If you’d like to view my latest book (This Taste of Flesh and Bones–released September 8, 2020), press here. May it help you in your spiritual journey. 🙏🙏

Thank You” & “Note to Publishers

4 thoughts on “The Power of Attention

  1. Thanks Art for the reminder of how wondrously powerful our attention is. For writers, such as yourself, for sharing enriching and enlightening works with others around the globe, I am truly grateful.


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