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« Attention | Main | Goalless living? »
Friday
Jan112008

Distraction or pure action

When you do an action how pure is that action? Do you just get on with it or are there all sorts of additional intentions which make the action more complicated than it needs to be?

Some examples of these additional intentions would be: wanting to show off how well you do it, wanting to do a perfect job, wanting to impress the boss, wanting to avoid an argument, wanting to get the job out of the way, wanting to make a point and so on.

If we have these sort of intentions the action becomes much less easy to do and it also becomes much more liable to distraction or emotional upset.

To give an example which may resonate particularly for men, there is a lot of difference between:

A. Driving from A to B

B. Driving from A to B showing off what a great car you have, proving you can drive faster than other people, trying to impress your passenger, trying to beat the SatNav, getting annoyed with the car in front because it’s driving too slowly, and trying to avoid the police mobile cameras.

With a set of agendas like B, it’s no wonder that your driving might be aggressive and dangerous. If you simply have A as your agenda your driving is much more likely to be courteous, efficient and safe.

To those of you who don’t relate to the car example, have a look at the agendas you have on occasions like the following:

a. you are dressing for a party.

b. you are doing the housework before a visit from your mother-in-law.

c. you are complaining about poor service from your bank

Or instead, try examining the very next action you take after reading this. See if you can identify how many intentions you have attached to that action. It’s quite a good idea to write them down.

Then decide what you are going to do next, consciously drop all intentions about it and say to yourself “I’m just going to do it”.

Reader Comments (2)

Mark,
you're getting very zen!
Have you heard the story about two "students", one of zen the other of xyz.

The student of xyz says - my master is *great* !! He can be in two places at one time. The other day he did this and that and bla bla bla

The student with the Zen master was not so impressed - my master is even better, says he - he is only ever in one place and when he's there, he's really there - when he walks, he walks; when he sits, he sits.; when he...
January 22, 2008 at 11:58 | Unregistered CommenterTom
Yes, most of us are anywhere in our minds other than here and now!
January 22, 2008 at 13:23 | Registered CommenterMark Forster

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