Your Attention Please 

Every day there seems to be another force competing for our attention. For example, it’s almost impossible to watch a television show or YouTube video without being bombarded by a barrage of advertisements. Our mobile devices which used to be our private getaway are also being blitzed with ads. Even this blog post is competing for your attention. Do I have your attention?

Okay. As I was saying, everything and everyone, including family or career responsibilities are vying for our attention. Even our very thoughts have joined the chorus of forces competing for our attention. We simply cannot escape being pulled from every side.

Have you ever thought about why life is filled with so many distractions? I am not a conspiracy theorist, but a part of me believes that many of the distractions we encounter were placed in our line of attention on purpose and for a sinister reason. What if the bright lights, the loud sounds, the mesmerizing pictures and videos, the enchanting places and the charming characters were all meant to keep us from living our lives to their greatest potential?

What if those distractions were meant to divert our attention away from actively pursuing our dreams and goals? Or, could it be that the pursuit of our goals and dreams are the distractions we should really be concerned about? It is possible that we are pursuing, but we are not becoming. We are pursuing relationships, but we are not becoming more loving. We are pursuing success, but we are not becoming more contented. We are pursuing wealth, but we are not becoming more generous. We are pursuing greatness, but we are not becoming more compassionate. Or, are we?

Maybe distractions are a good thing. So what if distractions beg for our attention and focus. Who cares if distractions occasionally divert our minds from the drudgery of everyday life. So what if distractions make us laugh, cry, reflect and feel better. So what if distractions make us escape into our imagination. 

What if distractions help us with decision-making and creativity? What if distractions help us form more meaningful connections with friends and loved ones? What if distractions help us build community?

What do you think? How can you use distractions to be more effective in your daily life?

 

Upcoming post: “Do What You CAN’T!”

 

 

 

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51 thoughts on “Your Attention Please 

  1. A friend of mine boasted that she had over 1000 Facebook friends. Just as our government recently redefined ‘privacy’ and ‘truth’ must we now put a new definition on ‘friend’? I don’t believe it to be a conspiracy; however, I believe it provides the avenue to ‘reach out and touch someone’ without the reverse responsibility to be available in a friend’s time of need.

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    • Larry, to your latter point, is there really such a thing as a meaningless connection? And what are the benefits for establishing a connection to begin with if we are only going to trivialize the “friendship?” I would love to know your thoughts.

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      • Your reference to “distractions” sparked my response about friendship. You would need to walk in the shoes of a 70 year-old man who grew up with a crank wall phone and just 2 channels on the TV. We cherished the friends whom we saw and with whom we spoke on a daily basis. For me, texting and tweeting and FB comments just don’t get it. You called it trivial and I must agree.

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    • Your points are certainly worth pondering. 🤔 Couldn’t it be argued as well that distractions are exactly the things that lend themselves to a “robotic existence?” I’d love to know what you think.

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      • Possible. If you were to say that all this while the life that we have been leading, doing all that there is judiciously, is indeed a distraction from what was meant to be! That’s one argument. Or that distractions have become a part and parcel of our routine that they add to a robotic existence! What a whirlpool of thoughts your article has instigated 🙂

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  2. Dude you are so right on! To do anything, to execute, one must FOCUS! Coincidentally, Distractions are here for a sinister reason, but not the reasons you think. Distractions are here to turn our heads away from our own mortality, so we don’t have to look at or deal with death. And that, my friend, will be a topic of an upcoming blog post of mine. Here, read this before I take it down in 48 hours!
    https://randomwalkthroughintelligentuniverse.wordpress.com/2017/03/30/apocalyptic-mystical-experience/

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  3. Destractions can be used as an escapism for when life gets too hard and the mind can no longer take a things head on, but then distraction is only stemming from weakness. Perhaps destractions could be looks at as happy mistakes that can sometimes lead one to new epiphanies but I still sure as hell would rather have a focus than a destractions.

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    • A compelling perspective indeed. What if a person uses escapism to cope with a difficult situation, e.g., the death of a loved one, would you still regard that choice to be distracted as a weakness? I’m interested in getting your feedback.

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      • Yeah, that seems like it could be useful. You could also distract yourself from the media or from the violence that is going on in the world. You could distract yourself away from Mac Donald’s in order to focus on something more positive. Maybe distraction is necessary for focus? I would consider the inability to face life’s problems without distraction a weakness though. Not saying I know of anyone who can do this, just think it’s a good goal.

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  4. I love this. I believe that by tuning into out true selves regularly, it becomes easier to discern what is a distraction and what is worthwhile to our becoming. Thank you for your thoughts.

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  5. The practice of yoga and meditation have helped me tremendously in getting in touch with my true self. Taking time to truly scan the body and mind, allows me to be able to interpret what is and isn’t right.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hello Josiah, thank you for another subject worth pondering.

    I suspect a person’s tolerance for distraction may be linked to their comfort with clutter and chaos. Is your desk spotless and organized when you work, or does it look like the aftermath of a massive storm?

    For a type A that will happily leave most others behind and work, work, work, distraction may provide them balanced.

    Learning to tune out distractions has improved my ability to focus. Or is it a need to focus.

    Lastly, distractions can become addictive. Picture a home where the television is on 24/7, even if no one is actively watching. Perhaps that’s not a coincidence.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Catrina! First, I absolutely love the content on your webpage.❤️❤️ You are a true creative…and inspiration!

      It does make sense that one’s personality plays a role in how “distractions” are interpreted and handled. Thank you for sharing.

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  7. A great post and the Warning sign really helps bring us home to the point in so many ways 🙂
    It is very important to know the difference between …if the distractions own us or if we are using them very well to our advantage.

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  8. I believe distractions are a test of will. If you can follow through with what you are doing without being removed due to distractions, you can do anything! Not to say that if you are easily distracted you can’t accomplish anything, it just may take longer. 🙂 I also believe our levels of concentration differ with our personalities. Some can mash on through life without batting an eye at any little distraction, while others need to work at it a bit harder! In this day of everyone being diagnosed with ADD (ADHD), it’s as though we’d rather be medicated than learn to handle distractions. I like distractions because I feel a wonderful sense of accomplishment if I can follow through without being torn away. I hope this made sense! Again, another awesome post. Thank you for your amazing words.

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  9. Great topic! I find distractions to be an integral part of my life. Creatively speaking, I have too many ideas and get bored of any one project quite easily, but I have found that just by ‘storing’ my projects well and telling myself I can come back to them, I use my distractibility to cycle through everything I’m working on and that way I am actually able to make progress in many areas all at once. I used to feel bad about myself that I wasn’t able to stay focused on one thing for a long time, but I’ve come to realize that is just not how I’m wired. The struggle, however, is that it is very difficult for me to finish projects without a deadline. In my ‘ordinary’ life, I’m a stay-at-home mom and I find I need a lot of distractions to get me through the drudgery of the housework- a project that is never finished. Without the distraction of a creative project, a fun outing, a book to read, flipping through instagram, a blog post to work on, etc. I find I have no motivation to work on the necessary tasks like washing the dishes. I need that “something else” that I’m trying to get to.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for adding your well-captured insights to the conversation. At the heart of what you posited, I took away that one’s personality has much to do with how distractions are viewed and navigated. I tend to agree with that premise. I think it’s also great that you know where your motivation comes from, which is a key success ingredient.

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