“Pay attention!” our mothers and teachers tell us.
Have you ever wondered why we must PAY to be attentive?
My reasoning is that there’s a price to pay for being focused on something of importance. The commitment of our time, energy, effort, and resources narrows our choices and so we will miss out on something else.
My personal, family, fitness, and business schedule keep me on the go from the time my feet hit the floor when I wake up until I fall asleep. So much opportunity, so little time and help.
This means I need to pay attention with intention.
In 1992, in The On-Purpose Person, I introduced the idea of investing one’s time versus spending it. Paying attention runs along the lines of furthering your investment of your life.
In a world that increasingly tells you “You can have it all,” I’ll be the contrarian and say, “No, you can’t have it all.” Life involves making choices. The sentiment and the reality are miles apart. The cost is distraction and even less traction in life.
Admittedly, there are exponentially more opportunities today than there were 100 years ago. Just because they are there, doesn’t mean that we need to experience them all or can.
My attention span isn’t getting shorter. The span of what captures my attention, however, is more defined and refined. I don’t have time for every trivial thing or thought that comes along. Frankly, I’m becoming less tolerant of trivial pursuits. That doesn’t mean I’m not interested, amused, or entertained by many things. I just won’t pay them as much attention.
Please consider becoming far more selective about where you invest your attention.
Being on-purpose requires us to become a more discriminating and, dare I say it, less tolerant person. It is all a sign of maturity about where we invest our lives and love.
FYI: Shady Side Academy, Fox Chapel, PA. I graduated from SSA in 1973 as the president of the last all-male graduating class. The next fall the school went coeducational. Good move! With over 40 years of coeducation, I reflected on those all males with a measure of fondness for a roommate, Dave Succop, and more close friends Ted Bream and Roy Uptegraff. We were the Morewood Crazies!