Pay attention

“When you really pay attention, EVERYTHING is your teacher”

I was raised in a predominantly negative and aggressive environment and carried this learned-behaviour with me for many years. Although I have always aimed to draw positive lessons from my experiences, it has only been in the last decade that I have really understood that what we choose to focus on becomes our reality.

The child I once was didn’t have the influences, mechanisms or life experience to understand this nor the ability to control the adults around her but after re-learning and adjusting behaviours, I began to understand that there is a big difference between acknowledging the existence of something and making it a focal point in life.

I recognise that there is much pain and suffering in the world but there are equal amounts of beauty and kindness. Therefore what we choose to focus on, ultimately lets us influence personal reality and to evolve our own view of the world.

I worked in newspaper publishing and in the broadcast industry for several years and I think everyone would agree that doing harmful things or being exposed to harmful things has a negative affect on us but I didn’t consider the negative stories and images in the news in the same way, I just called it work, I called it my career.

Around six years ago, I shifted my focus to wanting to work for either Lord Alan Sugar or one of the ‘Dragon Investors’ from the BBC hit show, Dragons’ Den. I wouldn’t consider anything else, I talked about it as if it had already happened and to cut a long story short, nine months later, I was offered a role with one of the Dragons and for the next few years it became my daily reality.

It was a 24/7 role and as his right hand woman, we worked very closely together – during which time I learnt many invaluable lessons – I always fondly refer to him as being my MBA!

There was a time when we were travelling together and I recall my shock when he empathised but flatly refused to discuss the latest story in the papers about a young child that had gone missing. Inquisitive, I delved deeper and as it turned out, he had stopped reading and watching mainstream media some years prior and instead focussed on the business sections of the paper and TV programmes shown on the likes of CNBC and Bloomberg. This was his current reality and helped him to stay at the top of his game. He advised me to simply learn about the events of the day rather than spending hours and hours listening to it, watching it, talking about it and analysing it and instead to fill the spaces in my head with the things I wanted my reality to consist of. I took this on board, made conscious choices about what I watched, read and talked about, even the lyrics of the music I listened to and to my surprise, I actually started to feel better.

Having been aware of the benefits of heathy food choices and being conscious of the things I put into my body, it’s hard for me to believe that I didn’t spot this correlation earlier. I mean it’s logical that EVERYTHING that comes into us affects us and by simply paying attention to what we are paying attention to, our dreams will become something that we are, instead of being something that we are pursuing…


“energy flows where attention goes”