Pay attention to what you like. Notice what pleases you.

There are an awful lot of disturbing things in our lives. There are things that irritate or confuse or frighten us—people, situations, our own internal landscape—and they all call for our attention. But paying too much attention to these will cause us to become unbalanced and ungrounded.

Rather, every day pay attention to what pleases you. You’ll be happier. You’ll be smarter. You’ll regain your balance. You’ll be grounded in present time. You’ll be truer to yourself, and you’ll be better able to deal with the other. The irritating things won’t necessarily go away, but you will have returned to yourself, and that will change everything.

This isn’t about sticking your head in the sand and pretending that disturbing things aren’t there. This is warrior training. This is you building strength—strength to live your life as well as you want to; strength to engage with the challenges of the world; strength to heal your past traumas; strength to be courageous.

A challenge: keep track of the amount of time you spend focused on what doesn’t please you, whether in the world around you or in your internal world. Then spend DOUBLE that amount of time focusing on what you like, on what pleases you.

Perhaps you’ll become aware that you’ve been ruminating about your disruptive neighbor, or worrying about your ill spouse. For how long? Don’t judge yourself! Just spend double the amount of time focusing on things that please you.

Perhaps you’ll become aware that while on the phone with a friend, you spent a lot of time complaining about the government. How much time? Spend double that amount of time focusing on things that you like.

Or perhaps you’ll take an inventory at the end of the day and come up with the number of minutes that day you spent focused on things that don’t please you. Then spend double that amount of time focusing on things that do please you. You get the picture.

You’ll probably find that this isn’t as easy as you might imagine. If it were easy, it wouldn’t be much of a challenge! Accept this challenge, and do it every day for two weeks. Write to me, tell me how it goes.