Today. We only get it once. Why waste it? We can spend it in fear, or we can create possibility for the next person. […] It only takes a day to make change happen. The ocean is made of drops.*
The more people have to attend to, the harder it is to get their attention. Attention is a precious resource. […] What if instead of showing up to get attention, we showed up to give it, without expectation? Imagine the resources we could build if we spent the majority of our time attending to how we could help instead of trying to be seen.**
Why sleep through a day, download another yesterday, autopilot the hours away … then wonder, How did I get here?^
Each day is full of wonder waiting to be discovered, knowledge to enrich our experiences and those of others. Attention behaves like a muscle: it can be developed. Each person’s attention has its own natural curiosities and interests, and these need to be explored.
I have my awakeners to all of this. People like Seth Godin and Bernadette Jiwa are my regulars and then their are “guests” like Brian Eno:
The enemy of creative work is boredom, actually […]. And the friend is alertness. Now I think that what makes you alert is to be faced by a situation that is beyond you control so you have to be watching it very carefully to see how it unfolds, to be able to stay on top of it. That kind of alertness is exciting.^^
Not only is boredom the enemy of creative work and the enriched life, so is speed. I came across Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz first of all in their book On Form, a gift from a friend; I am now just beginning to read their book The Power of Full Engagement – here’s how they begin:
We live in digital time. Our rhythms are rushed, rapid fire and relentless, our days carved up into bits and bytes. We celebrate breadth rather than depth, quick reaction more than considered reflection. We skim across the surface, alighting for brief moments at dozens of destinations but rarely remaining for long at any one. We race through our lives either passing to consider who we really want to be or where we really want to go.*^
Their point will be: time is not our most precious resource but energy.
Alertness and attention are all about aligning our lives with our energy.
Have fun exploring this.
(*From Seth Godin’s blog: Today.)
(**From The Story of Telling blog: Giving Attention Vs. Getting Attention.)
(^In the UK, the triangular road-sign is one of warning.)
(^^Brian Eno, quoted in Tim Harford’s Messy.)
(*^From Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz’s The Power of Full Engagement.)