This morning I watched episode 5 of Tom Vs Time on Facebook. It brought together so many things that have been on my mind lately.

If you’d rather listen to this blog than read it, please click play. Otherwise, keep reading below. 

Brady said, “Football isn’t a game of perfect, it’s a game of mental toughness.

It made me think about how so many of us are playing the wrong game. Too many people approach health, weight loss or really any goal, as if it’s a game of “perfect”. Like there’s a gold standard and you’re trying to hit it every day. You’re falling short of this standard of perfection. Every evaluation of choice or thought is measured against your idea of perfection.

That’s a trap. There’s a different way. A better way. A more effective way.

Health is a game of attention. Weight loss is a game of attention. Goal pursuit in general is a game of attention.

Many of us play it as if it’s a game of intention, but we aren’t paying attention.

Most of us are drifting through our days. Yes, we have goals. But most of the time, we are on autopilot, reacting to what’s in front of us, following a pattern of habit, familiarity & ease, failing to bring regular attention to what we want most, why we want it & what we can do today to move in that direction.

When we pay attention, we not only have the presence to ask ourselves what we can do today, but we’re also constantly evaluating if it’s working –  if we’re making progress.

My guitar teacher shared with me the other night that one of the most important parts of becoming a “real” guitar player is asking & answering the question:

How did I do?

That is paying attention. That is being dialed in. You aren’t drifting. You aren’t going through the motions.

You’re taking action and then looking at your progress.

The key is paying attention.

While getting treatment before a game, Brady said that his personal pursuit is straight forward. He is working to be:

Physically fit. Emotionally stable. Spiritually sound.

You won’t drift to any of those things because you desire them, because you hold them as values or because they’re your goal or intention.

None of us can achieve progress without paying attention.

Whatever it is that you want to achieve, improve or become, you have to bring your daily attention to it. 

The more of your daily attention you’re giving to your past or to things that aren’t real or don’t matter, the less of your attention you have available to give to your pursuits.

You can’t simply acknowledge the desire or intention.

Identify actions you can take, on this very day, to move in that direction.

Then, pay attention to what you did, the impact it had & the progress you’re making.

Whatever the goal, it requires that you pay attention.

Your intention isn’t enough. Your attention is required.

Are you paying attention?

What will you give your attention to today?

What will you do to pay attention today?

Are you in the habit of asking yourself, “How did I do?”

How will you practice paying attention today?