That phrase rose up for me today and slapped me around a bit. It sounds kind of arrogant but it’s a decision all of us have to make, “Is this worthy of my attention?” It is especially true these days if you are an on line entity as I have become over the years.
With the power to connect to everyone in the world at a moment’s whim comes the ability to pay attention to so much more than was ever possible before. Yet ultimately, each of us as individuals has limited time and mental capacity to track it all. Even the process of deciding what to pay attention to can demand attention itself!
There are a few things in life I just don’t care about, but they are few and far between. My interests cover a pretty wide gamut: Gaming, Movies, Politics, Philosophy, Science, Psychology, Ethics, Computers, Acting, Writing, Art, Music, History, People, and more. I vacuum up everything my brain can get its grubby folds on.
Along with the breadth of what is available, there is tremendous depth. Who knows how long I could spend reading about plant breading, or the physics of soap, or breeds of dogs, or the nostalgia of 1st edition D&D players. Once you walk any given path it goes ever deeper, and once you start interacting with others, or creating your own information the vortex opens wide and drinks deep of you without end.
I rarely seem to lose interest in anything, I just wander into the next sand trap of knowledge and involvement, and yesterdays focus becomes today’s neglect. I’m not much good of just letting go, the memories remain and the passion I have for it is part of my fabric. This brings us back to what is or is not worthy of my time.
It comes down to motivations of course. Simple enjoyment of the moment, health, prosperity, love, pride, and obligation to others are all high on the list of my motivations. But being the gamer than I am, I am often thinking strategically about attention.
- How to get the most done with the least effort (efficient attention)
- Directing my gaze in directions that can make me money (pragmatic attention)
- Avoiding burn out by keeping fun and relaxation in my mix (attention sanity)
And that is enough attention on blogging for now, time to get some sleep and let my brain file away today’s discoveries, triumphs, and challenges. One final contention that I think must be true.
Great deeds are defined as much by what was forgone as by what was accomplished.