Two women next to me in the train start a conversation about their passion, cooking. About how happy they can get from a perfectly cooked dinner with romantic tableware. About what a beautiful pastime cooking is, in what stores they buy their food and how complicated cooking Indian food is. Then one of them suddenly says: “As long as it’s been made with focus and with lots of love”.
Attention and psychology
You can improve the quality of your life significantly by living focused. So by being concious of your health, the people around you and the present time.
Attention is also a very important factor in two phenomena in psychology: selective perception and self-fulfilling prophecies. People sometimes ask me: “Is that what you really mean with coincidence?”. There is certainly some common ground, but meaningful coincidence goes further.
that which has your attention, automatically gets more attention
If you’ve just gotten pregnant, everyone around you suddenly seems to be pregnant. If you’ve just bought a new car, you suddenly see the same car everywhere on the steet. That’s called selective perception. In your daily life you deal with so much information that it’s impossible to perceive and process everything. That’s why you filter that information: you perceive that which is relevant for you, and what you are focused on. It’s of course not the case that there are suddenly more pregnant women or certain types of cars around you. They just stand out more to you.
that which you (don’t) want, receives attention and will happen
If you’re afraid something won’t succeed, it probably won’t. Your filter is opened for everything that’ll confirm this and your behavior will be affected by it, consciously or not. It also works the other way around. If you really want to accomplish something, your filter is open to find confirmation that it’ll succeed and your behaviour will reflect this. The result will be that your expectations will come true.
How does meaningful coincidence go further?
The similarity with selective perception is that your filter will be open to information that is relevant to you. The similarity with self-fulfilling prophecies is that you pay attention to that which you really want to accomplish, causing your wish to come true.
Meaningful coincidence goes a step further. With meaningful coincidence two or more seemingly unrelated events collide and leave an enormous impression on you, because they’re of great importance to you personally. The events aren’t a direct result of your own actions, but just happen to you.
At work I walk past a colleague who was opening an envelope. Four cardboard squares fall out. I pick one up from the ground and say to my colleague: “That’s how you get attention”, referring to the sender. Only while putting the square on his desk I see what’s written on it: Attention… It was a direct marketingcampaign by PostNL, with on each square a work starting with an A. I immediately get a new idea for my newest blog.