There is a Chinese curse that says “May he live in interesting times.”
Whether you’re a fan of this era or not, you can’t deny that these are definitely interesting times.
Although we’re in the midst of disorder and uncertainty, we’re also experiencing the most creative time in the history of recorded mankind.
On the one hand, we have at our convenience wealth of information and incredible technological ability.
On the other, we have a poverty of attention and a general lack of direction.
This might leave many confused, not knowing what to think or what to do. Days wasted wondering. Chunks of life spent dispirited.
Choosing to walk down one path means denying all others. When you say ‘No’ to one thing, you’re only saying ‘No’ to one thing. However, when you say ‘Yes’ to something, you’re saying ‘No’ to all other things.
We may not consciously think about this, but there’s a general fear of making the “wrong” choice.
Knowing of and having so many options to choose from creates the Paradox of Choice.
Ever wonder why the popular fast food restaurant, In-n-Out, is so successful?
They have a very simple menu with only 3 combo options.
By limiting the number of options to choose from, they also limit the stress brought about by the process of decision-making.
Less is More.
Their customers don’t experience anxiety, indecision, or dissatisfaction as a result of all the options available.
What can we learn from this, and how can we apply it to our own lives?
Well, just by looking around, it’s obvious there’s a lot of “noise” in our lives.
This “noise” can sometimes make it hard to think and make decisions for ourselves.
Our family wants something from us.
Our friends want something from us.
Our employers want something from us.
Marketers and media stations are paid millions to get something from us.
Everybody and everything, consciously and unconsciously, they want it.
What do they want?
Aside from being able to share themselves with you, while having your attention, they have an opportunity to influence you.
Whether it be from a place of love or a place of fear, having access to your mind automatically allows them the capacity to plant ideas into your subconscious.
Now, before you panic, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
It’s just how the human organism operates.
Anything we give our attention to has the capacity to have an effect on our character, development, or behavior.
It’s how we grow—how we evolve.
What’s important is that we’re mindful of where our attention goes, and of why we believe the things we believe.
Being that we have conscious control of what to focus on, it’s increasingly important that we’re tuned well into the information that will lead us to a happier, healthier, more prosperous life.
There are people out there who genuinely want the best for you.
They want to see you win strictly because they know the more people winning the better culture we can create.
I mean, think about it.
Imagine a world where almost all individuals are happy, healthy, and doing what they thoroughly enjoy.
Isn’t this a world you’d want to be a part of?
A world you’d want your children to grow up in?
In the era we live in, with all our advancements and capabilities, this world is possible.
I like to think it’s no longer a just dream, but a very practical reality.
All that we need is to stand united against harmful “noise”—the type that divides us and turns us against each other. It’s out there, but it’s also within us.
“Now, you just watch your attention. Where is it going? Watch yourself. As soon as you’ll start watching yourself, your attention, you’ll become more identified with your Spirit.
— Nirmala Srivastava