In our current society, the most important asset we have as humans is our attention.
With so much noise and social media, we have become very easy to manipulate.
Our actions have become an active “working hand” for large tech companies who vehicle their desires through us. Having our desires become an ingredient for an activity on their behalf.
With that being said, using the right perspective, practice and discipline we can start to use the machine without the machine using us.
Because let’s face it, the machine is getting bigger, hungrier, and most importantly: smarter. You do not even hear or see the animal courting the prey. Even when the animal catches the prey it is so smooth and subtle that you would have never known.
But there is a way out. Which is, to be accurate, a way in.
Going inside yourself, and seeing what’s in there, focusing and expanding your consciousness. Figuring out what is hijacking your attention. And more importantly, why? How are you letting a social media notification alert take you hostage? Is that how you want to live your life?
Where do you want to place your attention? What if you could consciously choose, at any given moment, where your attention is focused on? With practice, you can. Here are several tips:
*First, you have to see through the game. This is probably the most important aspect of all of this. You have to understand that there is a lot of people paying a lot of money to grab your attention. Now, it is not only people, now there is also artificial intelligence software designed carefully to win your attention. Broaden up your perspective. See-through the game. And decide for who you are playing. For their board meeting numbers? Or for your own life?
*Mindfulness, Mindfulness, and them some Mindfulness. You hear this buzzword a lot, right? What does it actually mean? To put it simply for you in this context: Mindfulness is training the mind to work for you, instead of you working for it. And boy, when it works for you, it shows. My favorite mindfulness practices are: Meditation (10 Minutes once or twice a day), Paying ultra-focus attention to simple activities such as brushing your teeth, eating, talking, walking. And writing! Actively living in a mindful state helps you gain control over your attention. It expands your attention span as well.
*Planned in advance social media use. Having a clear purpose for being on social media helps you use the machine effectively. It lets you be aligned with your goals. Decide on how much time you are willing to spend on social media at any given interaction. Once you do that, the machine is working for you!
*Person to person interaction is key. We live in a society where you can easily send someone a direct message on Facebook. This has so many benefits. But, sometimes it can feel a little alienated. If you can try converting these DMs to phone calls, Zoom meetings, and Post Covid lunches. Let’s train ourselves to give full attention to the person in front of us.
While there are many more things you can do to enhance your attention span and focus, I hope this helped. An important question to constantly ask yourself is: How can I place more meaningful attention on the people and things I value? How can I use technology effectively, without it using me?
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