Attention Please!

Attention Please!

There is an old commodity that is becoming scarce. I’m talking about attention, it is the act of taking notice of being with, of reading what you write, listening to what you say, seeing what you do, looking at what you produce.

Wikipedia discribes it as: “Attention is the cognitive process of selectively concentrating on one aspect of the environment while ignoring other things.”

It so often gets confused with time but in this always connected always on world, you can spend time with someone but give them very little of your attention. I see it with mothers at the play ground with their kids but glued to their cell phones. Or the same thing with friends at the coffee place with their lap tops, tablets and cell phones. Who is getting their attention? Not the ones they’re spending their time with.

Attention is your most valued gift. It is what everybody wants of you.

Attention is your most valued gift. It is what everybody wants of you.
The big corporations of Apple, Google, Facebook are fighting for it. They know it’s value. They conjure up new ways to connect but really they want your attention in their ecosystem. They also know that attention is fleeting, if they are not showing you respect, love and appreciation for it you will fly off like a butterfly to the next flower (MySpace to Facebook). To keep you they must show you their appreciation of your gift.

Attention is so valuable there is no real price to it. Sure you can sell your time but you gift your attention. It is invaluable. You only can give it and it can not be farmed out to someone else.

Some of us are so busy, have so little time, we don’t even give ourselves our attention. Do you know what you ate yesterday, how much you spent, or do you have a vague recollection of it? How much time was spent on Facebook, email, or on the web? How much TV did you watch last week? Where are you spending your attention? Did you even have time to get to your important but not urgent tasks? Did you even ask yourself what they are?

Spend some time giving yourself your attention, if you do, the attention you give others will be a bigger gift.

The world we live in is filled with more content than ever before in history (tweets, photographs, blog post, web sites, Facebook and Google+ posts, emails, You Tube videos, TV shows, posters, commercials, ads, and so on). A lot of it is just noise and is not worthy of your gift of attention and I’m just talking about consuming content.

The real gift is producing content. A Facebook like, a Google “+”, or a repost of a tweet is the easiest act of producing your own content. It says to the world this is worthy, this I stand behind, this is the good stuff and is not part of the noise.

The next level is to post, to tweet, to email someone and this requires others attention. To produce is to put your voice out into the noise and hope that someone, anyone has the attention to hear you. For you to do it again is the biggest gift you can give yourself. It says to world “Attention Please!” this is worthy.

For you to read this is a gift of your most valued asset, not time but your attention, I am honored, and I thank you.

Thanks for reading. Please take a moment and let me know what your thoughts are by commenting below.

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