Sheldon Mills: welcome to have a Masters. I'm Sheldon. I'm Jeff, and we have a nugget of goodness that we are just dying to hopefully explain perfectly clear with good stories and you're gonna love it.
Jeff Corrigan: You guys I will tell you this, as a podcast team, we are trying to improve. The way that we express ideas, and we'd love your feedback honestly. So send us emails [email protected],
We will respond, we do answer emails . So that's the cool thing, right? You guys have a, an inside track.
We wanna do a whole lot better at communicating these ideas in a way that really resonates and helps you make the changes needed to live your best life. It's the whole point of this podcast. So we're getting better. You're getting better.
We can do this. Sheldon, what's the point of this episode? What are we trying to do?
Sheldon Mills: So, We originally titled this one mastering your Attention. That's truly like the answer, but we have to know the question and the problem to recognize how profound that is.
And so we've got a couple stories we wanna share with you that we hope answers this at the end of the day. If you don't make a choice, It'll be chosen for you.
Jeff Corrigan: Yeah. . Aristotle said, nature. A bores a vacuum. Right. It's like a vacuum. Yeah. Where there is space, it will be filled.
Sheldon Mills: And think about like , you go outside in the world, there's not just like, oh, this pocket of nothingness. Right. It's just not. That's just not possible, right? Yep.
Jeff Corrigan: Yeah, imagine this guy's. At the end of your 24 hours, was there a single minute that wasn't taken up?
Sheldon Mills: Was there a few seconds that just like, oh, nothing.
Jeff Corrigan: No. There was nothingness. Yeah. You might not have done anything, but there was something in it. Right? You doing nothing that was you in that moment. So, we know this as just a fundamental truth of life, that all time, all space gets filled with something.
And so there's actually a field behind our house, and it was only planted the first year. We moved in. We're like, oh, this is amazing, this big giant field with wheat, and we thought it was gonna be beautiful. Every year. Since that time, they have not planted the field, so it's just been sitting there empty.
So every year in the springtime, it starts to filled with weeds, and then they come and they'll plow it out, and then a few weeks later filled with weeds. They come and they plow it out. So about every four to six weeks they come and they plow it out and, but they never plant anything. And part of that is just because it's land that they have an overabundance of what they're trying to grow.
And so they have no use for that specific piece of land. But it really is a good representation of how our life works
Sheldon Mills: It's like something's going to grow, it can be weeds or it can be something purposeful fruit, vegetables that you want in your life, . So we wrote this down, most people were working really hard but getting discouraged because they don't realize why they aren't getting better results.
They're using all, the tools they have to be more productive , but still not getting where they want to go. So there is a discussion about being productive. And efficient does not mean being effective. Right. Being productive, efficient does not equal being effective. So I mean, I would say for your field, they are efficiently and effectively plowing that under every six weeks.
Jeff Corrigan: Yeah. Have you guys Exactly right. And they're they've got it on a timeline. They know when to do it, they're doing it, and they're working just as hard as if they had planted the field. That's the part that's so profound right now that you need to understand is. Whether you plant the field or not, whether you plant the seed of your new identity or not, and the life that you want, you're working just as hard.
Sheldon Mills: Yeah. So every minute will be filled. It'll still get filled, and you'll still be tired at the end of the day. Yeah. You still have to go to sleep.
Jeff Corrigan: And I would guarantee that if you're on this podcast, you're not a lazy person. Right. I reckon exactly The fact that you're listening to this, doing these things you're not a lazy person, and in fact you're probably working really hard at whatever it is you're trying to accomplish in your life.
But I think a lot of times the, and here's where we're getting to the nugget, right, Sheldon, is there's three things. That are taking you away from the life you want. Right. Or the life you should and or could be planting and creating. Yeah. The
Sheldon Mills: field of your life there. That we kind of quickly nailed it down to these three things that if you aren't growing, the mansion, the garden, the, like, the fruits and vegetables you want, it's these three main things that are happening instead,
because it's getting filled, right? Your gardens, something's growing. The hours are getting filled. But these three things, instead of like moving toward your purpose, your goal, your, your happiness, your joy, like these three things are getting in the way. Want me to take I'll start with the first one.
Go for it. The first one is distraction, right? Okay. We all have a cute little powerful super computer of distractions. That's the easy one. Netflix, there, there are a thousand distractions that are basically helping somebody else achieve their goal. You know what I mean? We're making somebody rich by giving them heritage.
Right. But the, there, there's an endless world of distraction. Yes. That will just fill up the time and at the end of the day, we'll go. Okay. Bummer. . I'm no closer to my actual end goal of what I really want. I think that's obvious to most people. That's probably the easiest of these three actually,
Jeff Corrigan: Well, it's easiest to recognize.
Easiest to recognize, but it's definitely one that you can put some things in place to help practice the opposite, right? Eliminating some distractions from your life. But we're not gonna go into that today. That's just, you know what those are. Yeah.
Sheldon Mills: And most usually when you talk, you get the.
The pop psychology and the Instagram nuggets and things like that. Like, usually that's what people are trying to address is the distraction. And it's valid and it is a huge problem. . And we all struggle with it, and that's okay. It's part of being alive, ? But I think these other two will probably be more insightful.
The second one. Is we're deceived. And I think this is more profound than maybe most people recognize, like I think really often in life, like we think that doing this thing, this action, this behavior is going to give us this and it really isn't.
Right. I think we're often deceived if I mean, people talk about it all the time. It's like, oh, climbing up the corporate ladder or this and that, you realize it was leaning against the wrong wall. Yeah. And they've sacrificed their health and their relationships and their family. Do you know what I mean?
And so I think we are often deceived. I love me and my wife. Were taking, I feel like we have a good relationship, but we wanna make it even better. So these classes that we've been taking has helped me recognize, it's like sometimes what I say I want. Because I feel hurt or I have walls or, do you know what I mean?
It's kind of like my behavior of being closed off and whatnot is actually creating the thing that I say I don't want. Right. Yeah. And I've, I recognize like how easy it is to be deceived, you know what I mean? Like, okay, if I'm irritated at something. Is that gonna make my wife want to be with you?
Do you know what I mean? Like that's like, we are so easily deceived in our actions and the things that we think, this is just one example and in a personal relationship type sphere, right? I think we are deceived more often than we care to admit or obviously realize of, yeah. We say we want this, but the things we do aren't gonna take us there and we don't even realize it.
Jeff Corrigan: It's like our actions and our stated desire are not aligned. . And that I think is such a huge aspect of this. It's I mean, if you guys ever played Mario Kart, I don't, I was just thinking about this. It's like, you ever go the wrong way in Mario Kart, right? You're, you can go as fast as you were going the other direction, but in the wrong direction.
And and I think that's kind of like this, It's like running the race in the wrong direction. You're like, this is where I wanna go. And you're going really fast and you're working really hard at it, except for you're going the wrong direction, you're taking the wrong steps that are taking you in a different direction.
And I feel like more often than not we do fall into that gap, like Sheldon's talking about, and it really falls into the next step, that we can control how someone else's feels. And not only can we control how they feel, but we can control what they do based on our actions.
And yeah, there's powers of manipulation and all this stuff like that, but in the end, you really only have control over yourself. Yeah. You have only control over your thoughts, your attention, and the direction you're headed. And you can have a positive influence on others, and they can choose to react to you in the way that you hoped.
I have a friend, and I won't tell you who, but it was a friend of mine who came to me one day and was talking about how she felt like she was adding a lot into these relationships.
In her life, like I'm doing all these things, but she didn't feel like she was getting that same amount of love in return or that same amount of attention and acceptance in return. So she was trying really hard at these relationships, but she wasn't being reciprocated. And we had a pretty good conversation about it, but I basically broke it down to the fact that well, look, you can put in everything you want into these relationships.
The problem is you're trying to control how they react. And our actions never actually control the reaction, right? Once we take an action, we can't control the response . Even our wife or our kids or our best friend. We can't control how they feel.
None of that doesn't mean we shouldn't try to be nice and great people and all those things. Those things, obviously we should, but just because we do that is not going to control how that other person reacts.
Even in the Bible, if we take, the Savior as an example, he points out that there are always going to be people. Who don't listen. There are always going to be people. No matter how many miracles you per you perform, no matter how much you love people and how much you show them the way, there are always going to be people who either don't wanna listen.
People who laugh at you and make fun of you. There are people who wanna kill you, right? No matter how great and wonderful you are, you could go around literally healing everyone you see as Jesus did. And there was a whole group of people that wanna murder you. Right? It's like, it's and Sheldon pointed this out to me the other day.
He's like, Jeff, there's always gonna be haters, right? No matter what you do, no matter how good intentioned you are, you can't control how other people react. And we spend so much of our time and energy focused on trying to control how other people feel that it actually. Takes us away from our main goals and stops us from taking action on so many of the good things we could be doing.
Like, well, I could plant this corn in my garden. Gonna use a garden example again. Get ready guys. I could plant this corn in my garden, but my neighbor doesn't really like corn, so maybe. Maybe I won't plant corn. when we try to please everyone, it's like trying to plant a garden for everyone in your life.
And then if , you grow that tomato and they're like, actually, I don't like tomatoes. Right. You'll be devastated. The wrong kind
Sheldon Mills: of tomatoes. Yeah, I like you didn't cherry tomatoes. I
Jeff Corrigan: like the big cucumbers. Like I love the big English cucumbers. Not the little pickling cucumbers.
So it's just like that in life when we try to control how other people feel about what we do. This doesn't mean go ahead and do whatever you want, right? That's not the point. The point is that you should definitely pursue your positive goals and not let this monkey on your back of how everybody else feels about you or whatever's happening in your life stop you from taking action.
Or force you to do things that are distracting you. .
Sheldon Mills: . So the three, this distraction and deception and this third one, is giving attention and focus on things we can't control. And as Jeff said it out, the chief among those is giving our attention, to what other people say, think and do, which we can't control.
In fact, I shared this on my newsletter, but I think it fits really well right here. I'm gonna share it real right here real quick. Okay. A professor walks into a class and arms length, holds up a cup, and asks the students like, how heavy is this glass that I'm holding and shout, ring out, guessing the weight.
And after a minute of guessing, the professor says, from my perspective, the absolute weight doesn't really matter at all. Depends on how long you hold it. If I hold it for a minute, I barely registered as even being heavy. If I held it straight out for 10 minutes, it would become difficult and very uncomfortable.
After an hour, it would be all I could do to keep it steady and push through the pain. And if I tried to hold it all day, I would eventually painfully cramp up. My arm would become numb, paralyzed, and it would force me to drop it to the floor, shattering it. And in each case, the weight never changes.
But the longer I hold it, the heavier it gets. And I feel that as a perfect example of focusing on things we can't control. We can turn molehills into mountains and it's like the forest for the trees. If you're two inches from the tree, it's all you can see. It's all you can focus on.
Jeff Corrigan: Yeah. One of the most important things I learned all over the last couple of years was that. All my fears, anxieties, worries, stresses and most of my frustrations were related to focusing on things I couldn't control. So anytime you're feeling frustrated, angry, annoyed, anxious, fearful. Discomfort of any kind. There is a move that I'm gonna suggest to you today. Now Gay Hendrix wrote it in his book, the Genius Zone. But I think it bears reminding here and I think it's really helpful piece. So this is the step-by-step move.
So when you notice any unhappiness or discomfort in somewhere in you, perhaps your shoulders are feeling tired or something like that. Right. Feeling frustrated just recycling unpleasant thoughts. I know that's a common one for all of us. And it's like things that just don't wanna go away. You gotta ask yourself, what am I trying to control that is actually not within my control.
And then three, you're going to. Wait for an insight. If the insight doesn't come, that's okay. The wondering is the important part, right? Even if you don't immediately figure it out, like what is it that's frustrating me? You might not know immediately.
It might come to you later that day or when you're sleeping, or maybe even like weeks later, right? It'll just be the trigger. Be like, that's it. That's what's bothering me. But just wondering about it is so important because that allows you to. Like in meditation where you're just kind of accepting the thought for what it is rather than trying to manage it or control it or get rid of it, right?
Those are also things you can't control. Emotions are something that just happen and you get to choose how to react, not necessarily when or how they come. So the next step is you gotta formally declare it outside your control. So even if you don't have a clear insight about what it is, Say in your mind or out loud, I consciously let go of trying to control it, whatever it is.
And if you know what it is, if you have an insight, then put it into that sentence. I consciously let go of trying to control my wife's feelings or trying to, control the weeds in my garden. Maybe that's not the one, but you get the idea. And and then fifth, this is one of the most important steps of all is.
Think of a positive action you can do right away. That's something that you actually have in your control because again, your time, attention, thoughts, those are things that you do control. So in the example of, I can't control how my wife feels, is just like give her the flowers with no expectations, right?
It's like I, I'm going to say a nice thing to my wife and it doesn't matter how she responds. I'm just gonna do it because that's what I want to do. I wanna be that type of husband
Sheldon Mills: because that's the person I want to be.
Jeff Corrigan: Yeah. And this goes back to what we've talked about a lot, Sheldon, is be, do have, it's like all you can do is be the person you wanna be is nurture the plant.
And you can't force it to grow faster. You can't force it to bear fruit. I've planted plenty of gardens and thought I was watering them, fertilizing doing all the things I should, and the fruit didn't quite turn out, or the bugs came and ate 'em. It's like I don't control that aspect of it. All I can control is what I nurture and do, and that's, I think, in a nutshell, really what we're trying to help you see in this episode is that.
The key to taking control of your life and creating the life of your dreams really starts with mastering where your attention and focus are. Is your attention on things you can control? Is it on things that are distracting you? Is it on someone else's dreams or is it on what you want to create and grow in your own life?
And when those two things align, and it's not gonna be all the time, all of us are distracted sometimes, right? This isn't like you gotta be perfect or not at all. No, this is like start small.
Sheldon Mills: Five minutes, often deceived. This is the path to get to this. And actually it's not.
Jeff Corrigan: Yeah. But going back to Alison Wonderland, right?
Just make one simple decision about where he is you want to go. Yeah. What kind of husband or wife do you wanna be? What kind of leader do you wanna be? What kind of, just make one decision and say, okay, I'm gonna start working on this aspect. Decide who you wanna be and start taking daily steps.
To get you rolling in that direction. Yeah.
Anything else you wanna say, Sheldon?
Sheldon Mills: Okay. There's one quote we I love here. It's by Tony Robbins, where your focus goes, energy flows, and if you don't take the time to focus on what matters, then you're living the life of someone else's design. Right. So absolutely. At the end of today, when you go to bed at night, every minute, every second will have been filled,
it's just a matter of whether it's been filled with things that bring you joy and happiness, that build your relationships, that make you healthier and take you closer to who you want to be. Or if it's been filled with distractions. Or worry and anxiety focusing on that cup of worry that you don't have control over.
Right? Yep. And this is obviously, it's easier said than done, but the first step is to recognize what's going on.
Jeff Corrigan: Yep. And there's two lines from this that I think we just wanna reiterate, and we already mentioned them, but one is, if you don't choose it, it will be chosen for you. So choose what you want.
And then number two is, Mastering your attention is the first step in taking control of your life is starting to decide, how am I gonna spend even that small amount of time that maybe you feel like is even available to you right now, and then working to create more space to plant and grow and nurture the things you want in your life.
Thank you guys so much for listening. We really hope you enjoyed this episode. And I hope you guys got the message of what this means. And I know Sheldon and I have been talking about this a lot and really trying to implement this in our own lives.
Little by little because it is a process. We're never perfect at this. This is all a journey of progress. Yeah. That's what this whole life is a journey of progress and we're so glad that you've been able to join us and appreciate you taking your time and energy to focus your attention here.
And hopefully this has been valuable for you. We do write a newsletter that's free of course, it's called Magic Monday. We send you a two to three minute read every Monday. Just kinda help you kick off your week and start things off on a good note. So go join that newsletter and if you like this episode, share it with a friend. It's time to start living your best life.