Just beautiful stuff from the late, great, Alan Watts:
What do you do when somebody says “pay attention”? What is the difference between looking at something and taking a hard look at it? Or between hearing something and listening intently? What’s the difference? What’s the difference between waiting while something goes on and enduring it? Why the difference is this:
When you pay attention instead of just looking, you screw up your face. You frown and stare. When you will, you grit your teeth or clench your fists. When you endure, or control yourself, you pull yourself together. Physically. And therefore you get uptight. You hold your breath. You do all kinds of muscular things to control the functioning of your nervous system.
And none of them have the slightest effect.