Have you ever noticed where our attention goes on the 1st of January each year?
We pass the day wishing friends and family a “Happy New Year”. Yet, have you ever stopped to think about the impact (subtle or not) of the words we say and what we emphasis as a result? What would be the implication if we simply switched things around a little….? Instead of placing your attention on the words “Happy New Year”, instead we all wish each other a “New Happy Year”?
What’s the difference? … Potentially a lot!
Just imagine if we approached this year as if it is going to be a happy one rather than just a new one! Too often we think of the new part of the year instead of the happy part. Of course we hope that within the ‘newness’ of a year will lie happiness but hope is not a strategy! If we want happiness then we have to set our attention on it and go for it with purpose and focus! After all, if we are honest, many of the new year ‘highs’ last but a moment to be followed by failing resolutions and expanding waste lines! As riders many of us know how tricky it can be to maintain your purpose and keep focused, as set backs, cold weather and injuries all take their toll.
What can we do about it? How can we shift our approach to something longer lasting? Will any of this help me develop my horse skills?
In keeping with the theme of having a ‘happy year’ there is PLENTY of good news and plenty we can do…
To start with think about the ancient concept (made popular today through meditation and mindfulness) – the concept of following and noticing your ATTENTION; where you put it, how it spends it’s time and with what outcome?
Here are the key principles to remember about attention:
1. ATTENTION is all that counts.
2. You are where your attention takes you.
3. You are your attention!
Tomorrow while riding or mucking out notice what captures your attention and where you place it…If your attention is fragmented, dwelling on negative stuff, or the past, that is how you will feel (unfocused, down in the mouth, expecting the worst or afraid of the future)! That may all sound a bit heavy going but try it out! On a bad day and on a good day notice where your attention goes and the resulting chain of events. Experiment. Take control of your attention and how it occupies your mind.
If you are someone who regularly feels on the verge of giving up on riding, or lowering your riding aspirations or convincing yourself everyone else is better…. I bet you are simply a victim of misplacing your attention!.
In summary the better we wish to be as a rider, or horse man/ woman the better we must become at directing our attention in a useful way.
My top tip is to be be present, by embracing the here and now, let go of the past or the future so you and your horse can find each other today, in this moment which is the only moment there is. If you can do this more and more, little by little, each day, then you will quickly come to see you are shaping up for a better and happier future. In return, I bet that this time next year more people stop to think about where they put their attention when wishing someone a “Happy New year” and instead wish each other a “New HAPPY year”!
I wish you all a
“New Happy Year!”