Believe it or not, you are currently in possession of one of the most valuable and sought-after commodities in the world.
You can’t touch it, you can’t see it, it’s not stored in a bank vault or under your mattress — in fact, it can’t be stored at all. It’s fleeting, ephemeral, and mercurial and yet multi-billion dollar global companies compete to get it from you every day.
And, at this very moment, I happen to be monopolizing it.
What is it?
Since the moment you opened your eyes this morning, your phone, the television, social media, your to-do list, your family, your bodily needs, your job, the advertising world, your dog, the newspaper (the list goes on…) have all been fiercely competing for your attention.
Because your attention is powerful. It’s what moves the world. It influences the flow of money and information and power.
And, if you’re like most people, you’ve been giving some of it away to these competing parties without thinking about it too much.
In fact, Facebook’s and Instagram’s algorithms are designed to excite the brain’s pleasure centers, literally making us addicted to social media. So we’ve become hooked on giving away our attention (and lots of our personal data) because we get a little squirt of dopamine every time someone likes a picture of ours.
Assuming you sleep about 8 hours each night, that leaves 16 hours, or 57,600 seconds in the waking state.
If I were to give you $57,600 when you woke up this morning, with the instruction that you had to give away every penny before you to go sleep tonight, you’d probably be pretty thoughtful about what you did with it.
How much do you give to your family and friends?
How much do you give to your job?
How much do you give to Facebook?
How much do you give to Game of Thrones?
How much do you give to your worries and negative self-talk?
How much do you give to fear?
How much do you give to beauty?
How much do you give to achieving your dreams?
How much do you give to taking care of yourself?
And how much consideration do you typically give to how you spend this commodity?
What we put our attention on is what grows.
Are you putting your attention on the weeds? Or are you putting your attention on the crops? What do you want more of in your life? What do you want to grow?
When we consider the power, the value, the potential our attention has, we begin to use it more wisely, expending it on the things that matter most, the things that are the most evolutionary and supportive for ourselves and the world around us.
How will you use this most valuable and powerful commodity today?