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You're only as free as your attention is

You can have all the time in the world, but unless you can mentally be there in the moment, you might as well have no time.

Lot’s of us get into business to have more time and more freedom to do the things we want, and this is great, but there’s a catch - unless you can be present and pay attention to the thing that you wanted more time for, you might as well not have it.

Time is not the most precious resource, attention is. You could have all the time and money in the world to dine out at fancy restaurants with loved ones, but unless you’re mentally attending to what you’re doing in the moment, that time slides by as though you never had it. The perfect slice of pizza could get mindlessly chomped away as you’re mentally captured by what you need to buy at the supermarket and wondering if dog food is still on sale this week. 

Unless you’re in charge of your attention, you could be at your favourite restaurant, eating your favourite meal, with your favourite people and still not enjoy it. Unless your mind is there and present in the moment, you won’t enjoy it and it won’t be memorable.

It’s easier than ever (and more tempting if you’re somewhere heavily afflicted by Covid) to be miles away mentally, daydreaming of sunshine and holidays and planning future catch ups with friends. This kind of daydreaming is fine to an extent. It makes us feel nice and gives us things to look forward to. It gives us a light at the end of the tunnel. 

Not all daydreaming is as pleasant or useful though. It’s just as easy to be consumed by the narrative of the doomed world and the constant catastrophizing beamed directly into our minds by news outlets. One story on business closures and the prospects of a multi-year recession can trigger many thoughts of disaster - Will sales stay the same in a recession? Will I have enough to make payroll? Will my supply chain be interrupted? 

The thing to keep in mind about both of these types of daydreams (and all of the others) is that they’re a moment of escape, and while it is important to think about the future and plan and be prepared, life is only ever lived in the here and now. If you’re going to spend time thinking about what you’re going to do in the future, do it deliberately. Make notes of the things you need to consider and set time aside to think about, then when the time is done, make notes, decide on actions and move on until it’s time to stop and think again.

Things seem tough at the moment with the economy, the national health, climate and a bevvy of other factors, and it is going to be tempting to escape mentally from time to time. Be selective about when your attention leaves the moment though - you don’t want to miss a precious moment with a loved one, a golden sales opportunity or even just the perfect cup of coffee. 

Why not go enjoy one now? ☕️


Thank you for taking the time to read and for investing in better thinking.

If you would like to discuss any of the concepts further you can do so by emailing or by clicking here to book a call.

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Until then, Onward & upward, Jake

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