What is Applied Attention and How Can it Transform Your Life?
Applied Attention is a life skill
Life is messy.
You cannot control what shows up in life, but you do have a choice about where you put your attention and energy.
You are more capable than you think. This means that you have access to resources and abilities that your brain sometimes hides from you.
Everything you do is practice. The human brain is constantly rewiring itself to become more skilled at what you do repeatedly. This means that you need to be careful what you practice.
The benefits of Applied Attention include:
A greater ability to focus attention and energy on what matters most
A more graceful and effective relationship to stress, anxiety, distraction, and setback
Deeper connection with others through clear, kind and assertive communication
Increased clarity of values, goals, and commitments
Applied Attention is an approach to life, not a quick fix
Your brain is shaped through practice over time. It is repeated behavior that wires your brain for a peaceful and powerful life. Breakthroughs and epiphanies are great, but on their own, they do not create lasting change. This practice can be incorporated seamlessly into daily life.
Applied Attention is research-based and human-centered
This practice is based on principles derived from the study of neuroscience, human development, and behavior as well as lasting wisdom from major contemplative traditions. It has been practiced in different forms for thousands of years.
The human brain has a phenomenal system for learning and creating automatic behavior to ensure your survival. This habit-survival system allows you to do an amazing number of things without having to think about how you do it. This is the system that is effortlessly decoding the words you are reading at this moment. It is also the system that tenses your body when you hear a loud noise.
Your habit-survival system is very active and always looking for ways to keep you alive. The challenge is that in its eagerness not to miss something, it can make false associations between some of your behaviors and your survival. You can be left with habits that aren’t useful or, in some cases, even destructive.
Fortunately, you also have a conscious-choice system in your brain that can align behavior with values and goals. This system can prioritize commitments and incorporate information beyond what feels familiar and comfortable. This means that you have the incredible ability to do something even when you do not feel like it in the moment. You also have the ability to refrain from a behavior even when you really feel like it in the moment.
Mindful Self-Regulation helps the habit-survival system and the conscious-choice system work together. You can use your conscious system to install or uninstall automatic behaviors through deliberate practice.
“Your keynote was the best in our history. The breakout was equally compelling and entertaining. I have received so much positive feedback. You are changing lives – I know you have changed mine for the better. I look forward to the many more ways you can impact our system.”
~ Matthew Briger, Owner, Sola Salon Studios
“I’ve used the word “transformational” as least ten times since our work together. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and experience with us. I’ve already had three extremely positive experiences in the last 24 hours by practicing mindful self-regulation.”
~ Nick Machol, Chief Executive Officer, Machol & Johannes, LLC
“No words can sufficiently explain how much appreciation and respect I have for Dave’s work. He is an extremely positive and engaging person who is a true joy to work with.”
~ Lin Kobayashi, Founder, International School of Asia, Karuizawa
“The work I have done with Dave has been transformational. It has had an immediate and sustainable impact on my family relationships, my business results, and my general wellbeing.”
~ Dan Greenleaf, President and CEO, Home Solutions
“Dave’s efforts have been transformative for our community. We have learned to be more intentional in developing a positive and cohesive school culture.”
~ Mike Davis, Head of School, Colorado Academy
“Dave is THE REAL DEAL. His integrity, honesty, and way of helping others consider new approaches to dealing with life’s challenges are qualities that we don’t find often. That is something more than money can buy or words can express.”
~ Melanie Chapman, Los Angeles, CA
“Dave is one of the most gifted speakers I have ever heard. He is inspirational, and in fact is one of the few people who inspires me to be a better person. One key to Dave’s natural leadership is the fact that he lives the life we all aspire to.”
~ Greg H. Kubicek, CEO, Holt Inc.
“In all my years of teaching, the retreat you led was the most valuable and important thing we have done. You gave us tools to find our common ground, even when others may frustrate or challenge us. The beauty is that these skills are within our reach and all we need to do is remember what is most important.”
~ Tina Rivera, Teacher, Denver, Colorado
“Dave’s model of well-being combines a neuroscientific approach with personal awareness. He has taught me how to respond to my emotions in a profoundly positive and productive way. Dave is one of the most inspiring people in my life.”
~ Alexx Temena, Santa Barbara, California
“Anyone seeking to gain greater focus and productivity would benefit tremendously from working with Dave. Business leaders are likely to gain a competitive advantage by having their employees spend time with Dave, and I can’t think of a better human resources investment.”
~ Mark Schwartz, Former Chairman and CEO, Specialty Merchandise Corporation