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Blog: Are you Thoughtful or Thought-full?

Our Complementary Therapist, Sarah Carter, shares thoughts on the importance and impact of focus

In a world that is constantly vying for our attention at every turn, our ability to focus on a single task is fast becoming impaired.

There is a distinct difference between being thoughtful and thought-full. The former lends itself to productivity and the latter to procrastination. Not only that, when we are thoughtful we are able to consider the wants and needs of others which is near impossible if our minds are full to the brim.

In life we get more of what we focus on.  

If our thinking is splintered and all over the place, we run the risk of our outer reality being as equally haphazard. It’s not that everything has to be meticulously ordered and controlled; life is by design somewhat random and free-flowing but when we fill our precious head space with meaningless worries and concerns, we risk losing our sense of Self.

This can have a detrimental impact our working and personal lives.

By choosing which thoughts to pull out into greater realities and knowing which to let pass through untouched is one of THE most powerful filtering processes you can learn to regulate.

Is it time for a thought detox? Answer this quick quiz to find out!

  1. Do you have difficulty making decisions?
  2. Are you forfeiting long term satisfaction for instant gratification?
  3. Are you busy get nothing done?
  4. Do you often overlook the good you are doing?
  5. Do you constantly feel like you’re running out of time?

If you answered YES to any of these questions, you may benefit from considering the following points…

BE DECISIVE

A decision is a moment of certainty. It is a moment of power where you gain clarity and focus. Even if fleetingly or when accompanied with great uncertainty and fear, a decision is where a switch flicks in your head and you just know that in that instant, something has changed.  We are decision-making machines, we do it all the time! Yes, being decisive can cause temporary a discomfort…yet on the other side is a permanent gain. Always. Which ties in rather nicely to the next point…

MEANING VS FEELING GOOD

To “feel good” is one of our main drivers so it’s not unusual for people to use this as a gauge for how they’re doing in life. It’s understandable to want to get an instant hit and much of how we live these days is set up to fulfil that desire. Try not to abandon meaning though. When we engage in activities that are meaningful we might not get the instant gratification we sometimes crave, but the feeling of fulfilment runs much deeper and sustains us for longer.

So what could you do today that will prove meaningful tomorrow?

SINGLE TASKING BEATS MULTITASKING

Single tasking is where you move away from multi-tasking and focus all of your attention on the activity you’re currently engaging with. This is easier to do when an activity is important to you (or to someone you care about) because it makes it purposeful. A great book that explains this subject brilliantly is Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown. If you do decide to read it, see if you can immerse yourself in the act of reading one chapter a day fully without any distractions!

APPRECIATE YOUR RIPPLE EFFECT

We often don’t appreciate it but our actions impact the world in ways that go beyond our individual knowing. We don’t just exist as single entities, we exist in a complex network of systems and because of this, everything we do will have an impact at a level greater than ourselves. Even if you’re just a small part in a greater achievement, you’re still contributing and significant. It’s good to remember this when things feel tough.

MAKE TIME

As hospice workers, we of all people should appreciate how precious time is. It can be such a strange thing… a minute can feel like hours and in the next instance an hour can feel like a minute.

In life, please make time for what really matters.

Sarah Carter is a Complementary Therapist and Supportive Care team member at Hospiscare, providing holistic care to our patients and their loved ones. Sarah is also the primary author of our Mindful Moments blogs and vlogs.