The Ability to Pay Attention

Whats the most important human capability for the next thirty years?

The Ability to Pay Attention

To hold your attention on what you decide is important. to stay focused as it becomes boring… and to stick with something through boredom to the insights that only emerge on the other side of boredom.

Today I am waiting to receive my first dose of the Covid vaccine. The Barcelona conference center has been turned into an industrial scale vaccine delivery system. It’s well organized and I am impressed.

Line for vaccines. A thousand people. Nine hundred face down to their screens. Fifty reading a book. Fifty looking around and seeing where they are, what’s happening and who else is here.

50 years ago information was scarce. That made it give power to those that had access.

Today information is so abundant that it gives little power. It is so abundant that it has created another scarcity: The scarcity of attention.

I am reading a book gifted to me yesterday by a good friend. “Stand out of our light: Freedom and resistance in the attention economy.” The book is a thoughtful reflection on how mobile phones are impacting our lives… sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse… but often with us being unaware of the price we are paying with our attention.

What is the true cost of an hour scrolling on Instagram or Facebook? The life I could have lived, the deep conversation I could have had, the goals you didn’t pursue, all the actions you didn’t take… all the possible yous you could have been… had you attended to those things.

“Attention is paid in possible futures forgone” James Williams.

3 responses to “The Ability to Pay Attention”

  1. The rise of remote workers with employee productivity tracking is growing greatly common. As to preserve the transition and structure of remote employment, employee management software has become the current need of the hour.

  2. I once heard, “Attention is a rearer and rearer commodity – but it is a very precious commodity!” I agree with this. It is wonderful and impostant that You underline this, “Mobilephone must not take the attention that belongs to the people around us!” Thank You for these words!

    1. Thank you Reino – and yes, I think the idea that paying attention to a mobile phone you don’t lose anything noticeable in the moment… you lose something very important in the long term – deeper relationships, fitter body, better sleep, clearer sense of purpose…

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