274 Words to Remind You How Much Your Attention Costs

Last week, I was 30 seconds away from getting on the wrong flight.

With all the fail safes, electronic documents, improved security, and rechecking, you’ll be happy to know at least one person is determined to do the wrong thing. (Although, in retrospect, I’m sure Tampa would have been lovely).

I am the user your mother warned you about.

Chewing my last bit of dinner, I'd glanced up from writing a tweet. The woman next to me held a ticket reading B 17. That was my number.

“What a silly lady,” I thought, noting the flight ID on her ticket. “She’s in the wrong line!”
“That’s going to be embarrassing for her.”

I have a friend who wants to write a novel badly. He believes it could be his way out of the corporate job he loathes so much.

So during his free time, he pays attention to Netflix, he pays attention to games on his phone, and he pays attention to answering emails for the job he hates so much. He pays attention to everything his boss has done to annoy him that day.

And of course, those payments have all seen returns. They have given him the life he has now. It is no coincidence the phrase is “pay attention.”

Do you ever wonder why the people in your life who complain keep finding things to complain about? They spend time, invest energy, and pay attention to the negative. So the negative keeps coming back.

The freedom to choose how you spend your time is a luxury.

The freedom to choose how you spend your attention costs nothing.

Choose wisely.

— TB