Own Your Attention

I was reading this post by Jonathon Harris, and I loved the whole thing, but a couple of parts felt like they were written just for me:

In life, you will become known for doing what you do. That sounds obvious, but it’s profound. If you want to be known as someone who does a particular thing, then you must start doing that thing immediately. Don’t wait. There is no other way. It probably won’t make you money at first, but do it anyway. Work nights. Work weekends. Sleep less. Whatever you have to do…

We have these brief lives, and our only real choice is how we will fill them. Your attention is precious. Don’t squander it. Don’t throw it away. Don’t let companies and products steal it from you. Don’t let advertisers trick you into lusting after things you don’t need. Don’t let the media convince you to covet the lives of celebrities. Own your attention — it’s all you really have.

When I go to sleep at the end of an unproductive day, it’s common for me to feel this pit in my stomach. I feel like my attention has been robbed by worthless distractions that are day-by-day stealing away chunks of my one brief life. I feel weak, and vulnerable. Like things are slipping. Like time is running out.

But if I am the victim, I am also the culprit. Everything in my life… my job, my home, my family, my commitments, is a result of my own decisions. If my attention is being stolen, it’s my job to make different decisions so it stops happening in the future.

Our attention is the currency for our ambitions. I suspect it’s far more valuable than we think it is.

(Hat Tip: Paul Neeve)

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