Intentional Attention

Over the past few years the time period just prior to Thanksgiving and carrying on through the New Year has become a time of reflection for me. I find myself processing all sorts of things in my life: professional and personal. I’m sure I’m not alone in this venture.

No matter which lens you use, 2008 was a difficult year for me. A lot of things “happened”. As I glance over my shoulder at 2009 even more things… “happened”.  While some of these things were not within my realm of control, I believe that we always have control over our response. I have noticed that when many of these things “happened” in 2008 my response created more problems, added long-term issues to short-term crisis, and divided instead of unified.


The more I reflect on professional situations and events as well as personal failures and transgressions, I see that one (of many) things I have been lacking is proactivity. A friend calls it “intentional attention”. It sounds a little off, but taken at face value it makes perfect sense: There are things in life that we need to intentionally pay attention to. Our character, significant relationships, matters of integrity and honor… We have to DO it. Proactive, not reactive. The main struggles of 2009 were completely of my own making. There were still things that “happened”, but most of the pain was a direct result of behaviours and habits that could have been avoided with a healthy dose of proactivity in some key areas of my life.

So here I sit. I can continue to be reactive and respond to things hoping beyond all hope that I get it right next time – or – I can proactively put some intentionality into my life and pay attention!

Examine your life: work, home, relationships, your personal character, faith (or lack thereof), responsibilities, integrity,  your character…everything. I know I’ve got my work cut out for me. I know what could have been. I can also picture what could be, in every positive and proactive sense of the word. What can you picture?



Filed under 2009

2 responses to “Intentional Attention

  1. Brody Bond

    That is exactly what Frank Boswell talks about all the time… Doing the things and developing the habits that make us who we want to be. Great post. Thanks!

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