Sometimes I think about trading in my iPhone for an old school flip phone. I’m still not convinced that these phones make us more productive. The more I observe, the more I’m convinced that they make us more distracted.
Our culture is changing. It is important to embrace this new digital landscape we live in. It is here to stay, there is no use fighting it. But from a more optimistic standpoint, the internet provides resources and opportunities that never existed before.
Now everyone has the ability to create something. You can create a business or a brand and you can make your own living while doing what you love.
But there is a darker side. Your attention is the new gold. Your attention is the new currency, and it is being spent in places that you never intended.
If we want to contribute and if we want to design our lives around our purpose, then we need to be mindful of our attention. We need to be mindful of where it goes, how much of it we waste and how much of it we give away for free. Most people don’t deserve the attention you give to them. They didn’t earn it, they just tricked you into thinking that if you didn’t give it to them then you would miss out on something important.
But what’s actually important is the work you do. What’s actually important is what you contribute to the world and to society. We can’t lose focus on that (all puns intended) and we need to protect our concentration at all costs.
I’m not perfect. Recently, I have noticed myself having a difficult time focusing. Although Jules and I have settled into Nashville quite well, I still don’t have many friends here and this morning it dawned on me that I am spending a lot of time by myself. What do I do when I am alone? I watch Starcraft video’s on YouTube and I aimlessly click around on science blogs and business websites.
This starts with me, so here is my commitment.
- I am leaving my phone downstairs when I sleep.
- I am leaving my phone in the front pocket of my bag when I am working. I’ll check it at lunch and I’ll bring it with me at my afternoon walk.
- I will read articles all the way through. I do read in bed almost every night but I think we all are so accustomed to “scanning” our content that we are losing our ability to concentrate and really pull the value out of what we read.
- I will re commit to my morning meditations. I don’t know why I ever stopped.
I love the internet. I love online marketing. I love what I do and I plan to continue doing it. But while doing it, I want to contribute to the betterment of society. I don’t want to be a part of this endless stream of dings and bells and notifications.
I want to be a part of something bigger. I hope that you will join me.