The gift of full attention

Can you be in two places at one time?

Unless you’re an expert in particle physics, it sounds far-fetched. It’s one of those exasperated things we mutter when too much is expected of us, when we’re already busy doing one thing and someone demands we simultaneously do another. Impossible. Infuriating.

Yet I think there is sometimes a way in which we can figuratively be in two places at once, and this is in those conversations where we’re not listening wholeheartedly.


I say ‘we’ rather presumptuously but despite trying hard not to be, I know I’m deeply guilty of it now and then.

Maybe you know the feeling. You’re chatting to someone, but in fact it’s all rather one-sided. They’re doing the talking, so you find yourself drifting away, thinking about other things.

You’re not really there.

It’s easy to do. It’s even understandable. But it’s a sure-fire way to leave neither of you terribly satisfied by your exchange.

A conversation such as this doesn’t really feel like a connection does it?

And that’s a shame, because the true connections we make during a day build up to boost our mood.

Not every single conversation can be a deep and meaningful one, of course, but perhaps you and I could aim to ‘be there’ a little more today?

I will if you will.

5 thoughts on “The gift of full attention

  1. I totally agree with what you write Jon. It is of huge benefit to us, as listeners, to focus and openly listen to others. I believe this to be one of the main failings of 21st century life where we say that we are “connected” whereas in fact we are just throwing words about for effect.
    I hope that you receive this in the manner in which is was sent…
    Thank you so much to you and Alex for Moodnudges

  2. Nice nudge. You are so right. My family practices this and looking critically now I can see how technology and stress can also play as factors. Making conscious choices make for better conversations and relationships. We appreciate the people we know that are present when we are with them.

  3. I can only echo Claire’s words, as well as add that I always love your photo insert too! Always so appropriate, too!

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