Intentional Attention

Interesting email closings catch my eye, this one from Medium, the publishing service, in particular: "Thanks for your attention."

We are in the age of attention. Companies compete for it and business models depend on it. We chase attention for ourselves and give it to the people and things we love.

With so many things clamoring for our attention, each distraction more accessible than the one before, comes a steady stream of books and articles about how our lives and minds are changing. Where some see empowerment and great potential, others see loss of intimacy, thoughtfulness, and presence in the moment.

However you see it, and I suspect most of us are somewhere in-between, what matters is that the choices are our own. We each have an opinion on what is worthy of time and attention, but when I experience regret about that investment, it's not because it didn't meet a standard of quality. The regret is letting the crowd choose for me.

It might be getting wrapped up the outrage of the moment or trying desperately to get access to the new app that everyone is talking about today and no one will remember in a month. It might be a show, a meme, or a must-read book.

Unfortunately, there are no refunds on wasted attention.

Our attention is highly valuable and personal. It plays a huge part in our happiness and outlook. When I notice my perspective has become skewed, inevitably I've stopped choosing my own direction and started coasting on the path of least resistance.

Be intentional about how and where you invest yours. Wherever and whatever you choose, what matters is that it matters to you.