Attention is Priceless

We live in an amazing time of opportunities that the humanity has never seen before. But this is also a time where we have infinite distractions everywhere we go. And now with the omnipresence of internet and its power, there are a countless number of people vying for our attention and trying to sell their products and services to us. I was watching a TED Talk by Cal Newport not too long ago and he mentioned how social media companies now employ people who are called ‘Attention Engineers’. Their primary job is to develop strategies so that the companies can get better at attracting and driving people’s attention to their websites.

Products are being designed in ways that foster our addiction towards them. The human brain is being exploited and the danger is real. Truth be told, this is not going to end anytime soon. And it becomes our responsibility to educate ourselves and others of all the attention seeking landmines that companies set up for us by exploiting our psychology and current technology.

Rather than falling prey to the selfish motives of these digital giants, we can start using the Internet and other technological tools for our benefit. We can leverage technology to feed our brain with positive information and timeless wisdom instead. It’s a choice that we have to make!

It is up to us to take back the power in our hands. The quickest way to do that is to be mindful of where we focus our attention to. As the popular adage says: Where your attention goes, energy flows. We are living in times where it is important for us to protect our minds. Because of all the noise and distractions, our attention has become priceless for everyone. Rather than becoming a pawn to someone else’s vision, we need to start paying more attention to things that make us and our lives better.

A good start would be to start restricting your usage of social media and reconnecting back to the physical world. It’s wise to step away from the digital noise, as that will help you align with your inner being and your true interests. If we keep checking other people’s lives on social media and if we keep focusing on the number of followers that we are gathering on Instagram or Twitter, then we’re not paying attention to the bigger picture here. We are clouding our vision by short-term electronic pleasures.

Human beings are meant to be creators. When we create something and pour our love and energy into our work, we add to the greater good. That’s where our precious attention should go. We have to pay attention to the work we want to do and express our creativity in the best way possible. In order to bring our desired success into fruition, we need to start paying attention to our purpose and get determined to accomplish it no matter what.

And when we are not working, there are better alternatives to relax and rejuvenate in our lives, rather than dwelling unconsciously on the internet. There is no need to be glued to our screens in search for better deals and offers, useless videos or keep browsing various social media aimlessly and endlessly. They are like black holes that rob us of our time and attention. Connect with the realness. Connect with your realness!

Social media puts pressure on us to become someone who we are not. We end up broadcasting everything that we do and get into the trap of comparing our lives with others’. We believe in the illusion of everyone else living a fairytale life and us having to go through a futile, endless struggle. We end up giving rise to anxiety, depression, envy, jealousy and other negative emotions inside us. It’s time we stop facilitating these innocuous seeming repetitive cuts at our focus, creativity, self-esteem, and self-confidence.

Our attention ends up defining what kind of life we live. Our attention is priceless and we are a hundred percent responsible for it! On an everyday basis, we make infinite micro-decisions about where we want to divert our attention to. And the more noise we surround ourselves with, the more we get distracted and the more we exhaust our creative faculties.

The best way to find our passion and do the work that really fulfills us is to detach ourselves of all the distractions and noise around us. And focus all your energies on building a vision for yourself and the ideal lifestyle you want to live. We have to be on our own team, we need to start working for ourselves.

When we pay attention to the work that fulfills us and when we focus on quality, it will always draw the attention of other people. It will break through all the noises and distractions and be able to reach our target market and/or audience. We all have this intelligence within us that guides us towards a better life and when people realize that your creation will make their lives better, they will come to you and seek your services. Your success will be inevitable.

We have to stop living according to the society’s standards and get into unnecessary peer pressure. It’s up to us to educate ourselves and do a deep introspection about what brings true joy and value in our lives. We need to ask ourselves some honest questions:

  • What makes me happy?
  • What’s my definition of success?
  • How does my ideal life look like?
  • Am I doing the work that aligns with my values?

As we start addressing these questions and seeking their answers, a shift of paradigm takes place within us. We start paying attention to constructing a life for us that reflects meaning, truth, and intentionality; a life that is worth living!

Read this essay on my blog: The Karma Yogi Lifestyle; originally published on July 17, 2017.