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Earn Your Own Attention

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Earn Your Own Attention

Ask my parents, and they’ll tell you I couldn’t even sit through a ten-page picture book as a kid. My brother-in-law, on the other hand, was reading 1,000 page novels by the first grade.

But just because I didn't inherit the innate attention my brother-in-law has doesn’t mean I’m incapable of staying focused.

If you haven’t already, go read Alison Gopnik’s article on WSJ. The bottom line: the idea of innate talent is a farce, and you’ve probably bought the lie.

This is dangerous, and Gopnik explains why:

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I am not naturally disposed to pay attention for more than a few minutes— but my fate is not sealed, and neither is yours. Our ability to stay focused might not be “innate,” but we can earn our attention. Through discipline and hard work you can grow in your ability to stay focused. This might mean taking time to pray or meditate, or maybe taking off the headphones while you work. It might mean taking time to sit in silence, or turning off that incessant smartphone. 

Your attention, your focus, your success is at stake. Do the hard things, whatever they may be, to earn your attention. 

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Are You Brave Enough To Be Bored?

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Are You Brave Enough To Be Bored?

The group known as New Tech City has a project going called “Bored and Brilliant: The Lost Art of Spacing Out.”  Their goal is simple: they want to help you get off your smart phone for just enough time to actually foster some reflection. The research they’re doing is so valuable that it’s worth you staying on your smart phone a little longer so you can look it up.

You should listen to this quote of theirs from Johnny Smallwood, professor of cognitive science at the University of York, in London.

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You heard the doctor: the escape your devices give you from the annoying discomforts of boredom isn’t free—it’s bought with your creative potential, your intellectual insight, and your vision for the future.

That’s a hefty cost for momentary satisfaction. 

photo credit:
Wesley Fryer

 

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