Attention is right up there with food, water and sleep in respect of survival. It also determines the extent to which we will live a purposeful life. As a personal project, I wanted to create a ‘unified theory’ of attention. It turned into a book. Here’s an extract:
Do any of the following apply to you?
- You are frustrated by your general lack of time.
- You are not fully convinced that your investment in your career is paying off either financially or in the overall quality of your life. Others, perhaps less determined than you, are making better progress with seemingly less exertion.
- You are an athlete operating at the top of your capability, but are looking to improve your performance by making some ‘marginal’ gains.
- You are sometimes a little snappy with those close to you, and that saddens you.
- You have a sense of emptiness despite having acquired all the badges of success in the modern world.
- You are bewildered as to why some people are so cheerful, despite the hardship of their lives relative to yours.
- You spend a substantial amount of your ‘thinking time’ focused on your shortcomings.
- You are conscious that your life is out of balance, eg., spending too much time on your career, at the expense of your family.
- You feel physically lethargic, and your thinking is somewhat foggy.
- You can’t help but feel there is more to life than what you are currently experiencing.
- Your goals are constantly thwarted by reality.
- You are excited by the possibility of discovering your true potential.
If any of these apply to you, then I think you will find this book worthy of your attention. But if you haven’t given this much thought up until now, then here is a little exercise to focus your thinking. You are attending a funeral. The eulogy is being read by someone you know very well. This is not a surprise, as it is your funeral. What would you like them to say about you?
Many of us in the developed world are on a path where our eulogy will be littered with references to our attainments. “She was HR director of a Fortune 500 company”, “He was a first-class pub landlord”, “He was a very capable triathlete”, and so on.
But what about references to our character? Is this something that the eulogiser glosses over, because at the end of the day, your attainments came about through, for example, single-minded self-centredness?
Of course, there are people who attain great heights, and are great people too. They are life’s masters. But those people have simply worked on their character with the same dedication that they have pursued their career / sport / art.
I am all for pursuing genuine greatness. Watching talented people perform is to watch nature at the top of its game. As is engaging with those of great character.
In writing this book, I am encouraging you to live the best version of yourself, whether that leads you on a path to being a world class professional or to simply being one of life’s good guys. Or both.
Ultimately, this book provides you with a path to life mastery, as defined by you. One that is paved with good decisions, and not just good intentions.
Next up, I will briefly make the case for the importance of attention management as we enter the digital age…
Find out more about the book.