Make things happen. Attention and goals.

In the beginning, there should be the Attention, not the Word.

“There are people who make things happen, there are people who watch things happen, and there are people who wonder what happened. To be successful, you need to be a person who makes things happen.”

  Jim Lovell

People who wonder

Have you ever wondered why things happen to some people but not others? And here, I’m thinking of the good stuff, not accidents and mishaps. 

Have you admired – or maybe even felt jealous- over someone’s life?

I know I have!

Mindset (Explanatory style) matters

How you explain it to yourself has a massive impact on how you live your life. 

The two key concepts would be:

– fixed mindset (I can’t) vs. growth mindset (I can’t YET)

– and the Locus of Control (internal vs. external)

Apart from sheer luck (although ‘luck’ can also be explained by what we pay attention to) and life’s circumstances – as we were not dealt the same hand in life for sure – is there anything that separates some successful people from the not-so-successful ones?

And by “success,” I do not mean the popular definition of success like fame or money; I mean ‘successful’ however someone chooses to define it.

Pay attention to how the sausage is made.

When I think about it, there is a couple of things that come to mind:

  • Awareness – you need to know what is it you want
  • Reflection – you need to take some time to reflect on what is it that you want, maybe think about why you want it
  • Assessment – what would be required to get it: of you, of life circumstances, and what could be done about it.

“Success is dependent on effort.”


  • Decision – whether you’re going to try to achieve it or not
  • Planning & Ideation – when you sketch a plan, list the potential tasks and schedule them

Well, I guess it might, if someone else will take action FOR YOU, but for now, let’s stick to a scenario where you are the agent, with your internal locus of control

– There can be many approaches to taking action. 

– There may be many obstacles to taking action, both internal and external. 

  • Reflection – is a key ingredient to making progress. Sometimes you may think of it as a deliberate practice – a combo of action and reflection (or instant feedback) encapsulated in one neat idea. 

During the reflection phase, you would ask yourself questions and try to answer them to the best of your abilities – or look for answers elsewhere. 

What went well?

What didn’t go that great? Why?

What can I improve? How?

  • Iteration – when, hopefully, richer in your previous experience, you go for another lap, implementing new knowledge and improving. 

It takes Action and Reflection

The way I see it, for the things we want to ‚happen’, we need to take a bunch of steps. It is possible to skip some of those steps, and they don’t have to happen in this precise order. If I were to condense the formula, it would look like this:

          (Act). Stop. Reflect. Improve. 

Now, if things are ‚not happening’ for you, take a moment to reflect on why. 

Have you taken the time to define your goals?

Do you know what is it you want and why do you want it?

Do you believe it’s up to you to change things?

Do you know what it might take to get what you want?

Have you ever made a conscious decision to at least try to achieve it?

The 2 key ingredients of Making Things Happen

Apart from all the steps mentioned above, I believe things do or do not happen to us depending on two key things:

  • Attention – directing your mind from undisciplined thinking towards a specific thought (takes time and effort)
  • Willingness to try/bias towards action (takes time and courage)

Take home message

In today’s hectic, busy world, it takes time, effort, and courage to go after your dreams. 

However, it is easier to do it in the good company of like-minded people (for accountability and growth) in a designated time and space. 

And that’s precisely why I decided to build the Back To Senses community: to stop, to reflect, to plan, to execute.

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