Your motivation is your choice. Your intention is your choice. Your will is your choice. In peace, listen within for guidance, so that your actions are motivated by joy, your intentions are loving, and your will is simply to share joy and love.
In 2011, Americans took in five times as much information every day as they did in 1986—the equivalent of 174 newspapers. During our leisure time, not counting work, each of us processes 34 gigabytes, or 100,000 words, every day.
With that much data coming at people, how does anyone know what to pay attention to? What is valuable? How does one filter useful information from useless information?
Perhaps by now you’ve seen the invisible gorilla experiment? In which a video is played with 6 people passing around 2 basketballs. The viewer is to count how many times the white-shirted people pass the basketball. While counting passes, 50% of viewers do not notice the gorilla who enters the fray, stops, looks at the camera, and strolls off.
In sum, the authors say, “This experiment reveals two things: that we are missing a lot of what goes on around us, and that we have no idea that we are missing so much”.
People who participated in this experiment (you can try it too, at the link above), were told in advance what they were looking for: how many passes were made by the people in white shirts. The information they were looking for was pre-determined, and specific.
If you are looking for a new pair of shoes on the internet, won’t you do your best to filter out the ones you know you don’t want? You’ll filter by gender, style, color, material, season…Won’t you enter search terms as specifically as possible to get only what you are looking for? If you get a result that is totally not what you are looking for, are you going to spend any time at all making a decision to ignore it–no, of course not, you will simply ignore it.
Using this same shoe-shopping example, how do you get to a point that you are even looking for shoes on the internet? You need a new pair of shoes for an upcoming event, perhaps. The event motivates you to get a new pair of shoes. Or maybe you’re a runner and you have a marathon coming up that requires a new pair of shoes. Comfortable feet motivates you to shop for shoes. You don’t have to be motivated by these things; you could be motivated by anything–whim, spontaneity, love of shoes. The point is, the motivation is your choice.
Once you’re motivated, what happens? You make a decision–an intention to make a purchase. Following intention comes the will to make the purchase, which in this instance is about logistics: when do you find or make time to get online to do the search, and pay the money (maybe you have to wait for a paycheck to come through).
You have control over all of these things–motivation, intention, and will. You decide. You decide what, when, why, and how. Then you look for the information that satisfies your criteria, and you filter out the things that don’t satisfy your criteria. Simple. Easy. You know how to do this.
So, it’s the same process with this “spiritual stuff”. You can choose to be motivated toward peace, or joy, or love, and then make the intention to look for it, then filter out things that don’t meet the criteria of joy, love, or peace. The process is the same as deciding to buy a new pair of shoes, and to filter out your options.
The internet has trained us well to look for and find products. You are probably not as well-trained to motivate yourself, or take initiative to find peace, love, or joy. Therefore, you may have more trouble recognizing these things–your filters are not yet calibrated to immediately know what matches your criteria.
The more you do it, the easier it becomes, the more finely tuned you are to what is acceptable to you, or not–and soon you will simply be able to ignore the information you receive that does not support your peace, joy, and love immediately.