Updated: Aug 23, 2021
Thinking and paying attention are different things.
Thinking can take you in a whole variety of different directions, but attention is your ability to filter the flood of information to select only that, which is important.
Today, it’s common that you are bombarded with an infinite amount of stimuli – advertising, sounds, traffic, online content, other people’s interjections and even your own thoughts.
It is suggested that the average person has around 50,000 thoughts per day.
So in order to be able to function properly, you need to be able to focus on just a few and filter out what’s not useful.
You already do this naturally, but the breakdown may occur when you’re constantly (and unintentionally) giving your attention to the wrong things.
What you may not yet realise is that you can choose what you give your attention to – this is important because the external world is increasingly competing for it.
Attention is your way of structuring your internal world, so that the thoughts, emotions and actions that are most relevant to your needs (and aspirations) get all the preferential treatment (processing by your brain).
Attention and intention also go hand in hand.