Be All There

Once a friend of mine (whom I happen to think is more tuned-in to people’s needs than almost anyone else I know) went on a first date. He said the evening was pleasant, but felt his date was a bit distant. At the end of the evening when he brought up the subject of possibly going out again she informed him, “No, I don’t think we can go out again. You’re just not emotionally available for me.”

I know this wasn’t true for my friend, but have you ever been there? Ever been with someone, but it was obvious that they weren’t really there with you in the room? Frustrating, isn’t it?

[Insert tongue firmly in cheek as you read this next paragraph.] Now I’m certain that none of the readers of my blog would ever be distracted like this. And I know I’ve never done this myself. Since you and I, dear reader, always are 100% attentive to the people in the room with us, these next two quotes probably won’t pertain to you, but here they are anyhow:

“The human brain is simply not designed to multitask. You can get by doing multiple things at once, but you can’t do them well. Your brain is physically unable to process more than one set of instructions at a time, so while you are juggling all of those actions at once, your brain is scrambling to keep up. Through a variety of experiments measuring brain activity, scientists have discovered that the constant switching back and forth from one activity to another energizes regions of the brain that specialize in visual processing and physical coordination, while simultaneously disrupting the brain regions related to memory and learning. According to the research, ‘we are using our mental energy to concentrate on concentrating at the expense of whatever it is that we’re supposed to be concentrating on.’ Got that?

“More simply: when we multitask we’re dumber. How much dumber? A recent study for Hewlett Packard exploring the impact of multitasking on performance revealed that the average worker’s functioning IQ drops ten points when multitasking…. (The analogy the researchers used is that a ten-point drop in IQ is equivalent to missing one night of sleep.)” —Marcus Buckingham, Find Your Strongest Life

“Concentration, which leads to meditation and contemplation, is therefore the necessary precondition for true hospitality. When our souls are restless, when we are driven by thousands of different and often conflicting stimuli, when we are always ‘over there’ between people, ideas and the worries of this world, how can we possibly create the room and space where someone else can enter freely without feeling himself an unlawful intruder?” —Henri Nouwen, The Wounded Healer

This week I’m making it my goal to be all there for whomever is here with me. I’m going to try my best to eliminate multitasking and truly concentrate on the one spending time with me. Are you ready to try this with me? Let me know how it goes.

2 Responses to “Be All There”

  1. Kelly L. Mosher Says:

    Undivided, loving attention is pretty rare. When I’ve been on the receiving end of this, I’ve usually made a mental note of it and thought to myself, “Wow, I want to listen like that! I want to help everybody who seeks my audience to feel this important.” So, I’m very grateful for some good examples and the Spirit’s confirmation of the value herein. This listening skill/gift is a primary character trait of Love. Reminds me of another good book – Larry Crabb “Connecting”

    Like

    • Craig T. Owens Says:

      Thanks for another book idea, Kelly. I’m going to check this out. Did you see the quote I tweeted yesterday? “When I have a little money, I buy books. If any is left over, I buy food and clothes” (Erasmus). Ah, yes, that’s me!

      –CTO

      Like


Tell me what you think about this...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: