Be a Superhero

 In Attention, Sarah McLean

A superhero is ridiculously in charge of his or her attention. They don’t let anyone tell them what they can or can’t do, especially if it has to do with saving the world.

In the recent movie Wonder Woman, Diana (who played Wonder Woman) said, “What I do is not up to you.” Hers are wise words to live by.

What you do is up to you, just as what I do is up to me.  We are all—for the most part—self-directed. This means we can choose what we put our attention on, what we care about, and what we choose as our mission.

Diana shares the mission she has chosen at the end of the movie:

“I used to want to save the world. To end war and bring peace to mankind. But then, I glimpsed the darkness that lives within their light. I learned that inside every one of them, there will always be both. The choice, each must make for themselves —something no hero will ever defeat. I’ve touched the darkness that lives in between the light….. Now I know. Only love can save this world. So I stay. I fight, and I give… for the world I know can be. This is my mission, now. For ever.”

Like Diana, what you choose to put your attention on—and give your life to—is of utmost importance, whether it is saving the world, the environment, your community, your family, or yourself.  That is because one’s attention is a currency, and used wisely, it can show you the way to a powerful, purposeful, love-filled life.

You’ve likely heard the phrase, “where your attention goes, energy flows.” It’s true, not only for superheros, but for each one of us. Superheroes never let themselves be distracted. Instead, they garner laser-like focus and put their attention on what is important in order to be ready to protect others and change the world. They know their attention is a superpower.

Unfortunately, most people don’t recognize the enormous power their attention wields and its ability to affect and transform all areas of their life and the lives of others. Can you imagine if Wonder Woman was headed off on a mission, only to be caught off guard by her phone ringing? Or distracted by her to-do list? Or thinking about what she’s going to have for dinner? Or rehashing a meeting at work? Probably not.  That is why she is a superhero. And you can be one too. In fact, anyone can.

In my latest book The Power of Attention (Hay House 2017), readers learn how to reclaim their innate superpower of paying attention. They learn to value their attention rather than squandering it and give it away to distractions and devices.  They learn how to pay attention on purpose to what is important to them.  Here’s how you an be a superhero:

  1. Recognize that attention is a superpower. Mastery of attention is a skill that anyone can develop, and one that will impact every area of one’s life. What separates mastery from mediocrity in any endeavor is the ability to remain present and engaged —emotionally and physically— so to be ready for action even when confronted with the very same distractions and interference that everyone faces.
  2. Recognize the impact of attention: Science shows that everything responds to attention including a drop of water, an animal, a plant, bacteria, and a human. This means that attention comes with responsibility. Attention is potent—whether it be negative or positive—so it is imperative that each person be more responsible for how they wield it.
  3. Prioritize what is important. Attention is a limited resource, each person only has so much to allot. That is why it imperative to identify what is truly important to you and pay attention to that. Whether a relationship, a creative project, your mission, your career, or your spiritual life.

Once their power of attention is harnessed, there can be no stopping the superhero. Diana knows that wielding her attention is the best way to have a powerful impact on the world. It’s your turn to wield yours.

Sarah McLean
Sarah McLean considers herself an American Transcendentalist. She’s dedicated her life to exploring meditation: living as a resident of both a Zen Buddhist monastery and a traditional ashram in India, as well as living and working in a Transcendental Meditation center. She headed up the education programs at Deepak Chopra’s center in California and Byron Katie’s School for the Work. Sarah is a best-selling Hay House author of the books Soul-Centered: Transform Your Life in 8 Weeks with Meditation and The Power of Attention: Awaken to Love and its Unlimited Potential with Meditation. She's also a sought-after speaker who is determined to create more peace on this planet by helping people wake up to the wonder and beauty of their lives and the world around them through the practice of meditation.
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