The Attention Economy

Collectively and individually, we are transitioning from one way of life to another. We no longer live in the information age. The aftermath from the information age has created information overload. While the environment is increasingly digital and quality information is still scarce, what is most valued is your attention. The attention economy has commoditised our time and turned us into products to be bought and sold. Technology has evolved to take advantage of us, and it does it surreptitiously, tapping deep into aspects of our psychology. And it’s created something even more sinister in its wake: an environment of perpetual digital distraction.

During these challenging and transformational days of 2020, you may be well aware of the two distinct energy streams that are vying for your most precious commodity: your attention. One stream takes you along a road of hope, inspiration, and the bigger ‘positive’ picture for your future and the future of humanity, and the other takes you down a road of fear, blame, condemnation, and a restriction of your freedoms and future flexibility.

It could seem that too much information is being disseminated (from multiple sources). Perhaps you don’t know who or what to believe anymore. And that’s just the point! If you’re feeling torn and unsure about what to focus on, it could be because you’re being guided along a path that is, by its very definition, confusing. Indeed, it’s only at the point of confusion, having your entire world paradigm shaken, and the foundation of your reality brought into question, that you have the impetus to awaken and choose wisely – for yourself.

“Where your attention goes, your time goes”
― Idowu Koyenikan

Is Your Focus Being Hijacked?

In a wide, interconnected world, attention is becoming increasingly scarce which is why there are so many things screaming for your attention. This means, to succeed in today’s world, you need to understand the value of your attention. Your attention and where you place it has an enormous impact on your ability to create what you want in life. Staying focused on your unique life path while inhabiting an increasingly distracted world isn’t simply a ‘nice to have’, it’s an essential skill to craft and harness, as you navigate humanity’s ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ shift.

‘If it bleeds, it leads’ has never been so apparent as our global media channels swamp us in overwhelmingly ‘negative’ news. The fear and sensationalism appeal to our ego-mind and therefore keep us in a low-vibrational cycle. When we’re stuck in this frame of mind, we are out of our power and, instead, feed into the power of the media channels who seek to control us.

“You become what you digest into your spirit. Whatever you think about, focus on, read about, talk about, you’re going to attract more of into your life. Make sure they’re all positive.”
― Germany Kent

Power Struggles

They control us when we give them our energy by aligning with what they’ve given out. It’s always been a power game. In 2020, the stakes have never been higher, because now it’s not only the mainstream media channels but also millions of individuals who are engaging in negative energy dissemination. For every ‘one’ person choosing to focus on empowering energy and uplifting information to share, there are ten more doing their best to drown it out in an attempt to further the negative route. 

Unfortunately, when you focus on all the negativity and difficulty (your own or what’s going on in the world) all it does is make it harder for you to create what you want in your life. Whether that’s a more profitable business, a more intimate relationship, or a more fulfilled life, there is one fundamental element you need if you want to create it. That essential ingredient is FOCUS, which is precisely the thing that all the world’s chaos and upset attempts to take away from you.

“The television is ‘real’. It is immediate, it has dimension. It tells you what to think and blasts it in. It must be right. It seems so right. It rushes you on so quickly to its own conclusions your mind hasn’t time to protest, ‘What nonsense!’.”
― Ray Bradbury

The ‘Source Field’ of existence is a feedback loop, governed by the Universal Law of Cause and Effect. Every cause has its effect; every effect, its cause. There is no such thing as chance. Ralph Waldo Emerson called this Law, the Law of Laws because it’s so powerful. What we give out, we get back. Every human thought, word, and deed is a cause that sets off a wave of energy into the Source Field, which in turn creates the effect. 

Every action you take has consequences and will produce specific results in your life. The same goes for inactions. Think of it like this: the choices we make are causes, whether they are conscious or unconscious, and those choices produce corresponding outcomes or effects. The ability to see the connections between your actions and their consequences means that you will be able to recognise how those actions affect your physical experience. This allows you the option and the freedom to choose differently next time.

The Law of Cause and Effect is inescapable. Take a moment to look around you.  Survey your life in this moment. What you see is the direct result of specific actions and/or inactions that you’ve taken in the past. The choices and decisions you make now will set in motion a chain of reactions that give you back a result corresponding to whatever that decision triggered. For instance, let’s say you are struggling financially – in debt up to your eyeballs. Perhaps this is the result of uncontrolled spending habits. Let’s say your relationship is in turmoil. Perhaps that is the result of not putting in a sincere effort to show your love and affection towards your significant other.

“Instead of worrying about what you cannot control, shift your energy to what you can create.”
― Roy T. Bennett

Thoughts Become Things

If you have no goal, you don’t know where you are going, and so your thoughts are of confusion, anxiety, and worry, then your life will become one of frustration, fear, anxiety, and worry. If you don’t think very highly of you, then you won’t become much.

Suppose a farmer has some land, and it’s good fertile land. The land provides the farmer with an opportunity; he can plant in that land whatever he chooses. The land doesn’t care. It’s up to the farmer to make the decision. We’re comparing the human mind with the land because the mind, like the land, doesn’t care what you plant in it. It will return to you whatever you plant.

Now, let’s say that the farmer has two seeds: one is a seed of corn and the other is deadly nightshade, a noxious weed. He digs two little holes in the soil and he plants both seeds, covers them over, and waters them in. As the farmer has sowed, so shall he reap. The land doesn’t care. It will return poison in just as much abundance as it will corn. And so up come the two plants – one corn, one deadly poison.

The human mind is far more fertile, far more incredible, and powerful than the land. However, they work in the same way. If you plant success, you will reap success. Plant a concrete, worthwhile goal, or plant confusion, misunderstanding, fear, and anxiety. All choice is with you.

“Happiness is something we reap from the seeds we sow.

Plant misery seeds and that is what you reap.”
― Stephen Richards

5 Consequences of the Attention Economy

1. A Culture of Perpetual Distraction

Pop-ups, pings, notifications, and dings – on average, people check their devices 80 times a day, whether it’s Social Media, email, or instant messaging for work. It takes more than 15-minutes to get back into the ‘flow’ state once you’ve been interrupted. This means that even just “one little look” can have huge consequences for our focus. Since we’re constantly distracted, it’s impossible for us to create the conditions required for deep concentration, which provides real meaning and work satisfaction.

2. Passive Consumption over Intentional Reward

From inboxes to newsfeeds, the apps we use on a daily basis are formed around a space that is eternally updating with new information. It’s our FOMO (fear-of-missing-out) that makes us routinely “check-in” throughout the day. This has lead to a state of passive interaction with our tools. We turn to them to consume, rather than to create or solve a set problem. To be truly productive, we need to be intentional about how we use our tech rather than allowing it to become our crutch.

3. An “Unhealthy” Relationship with Devices

Most of us don’t feel good about how much time we spend on our phones. It makes us feel bad about ourselves, and we have a growing feeling that it’s not “healthy”. So what do we do? We pick up our phones again, either to distract ourselves from this sense of unease or to lift our spirits – by posting a picture and getting likes.

4. Mindless Social Media Scrolling

No one actually plans to spend time on social media. When structuring our day, we don’t say, “I’ll spend one-hour scrolling through Facebook.” There’s no intention behind it, no purpose, so the action will always be hollow, devoid of meaning, or any inherent value.

5. Toxic Psychology

Research suggests that the psychology behind ‘likes’ is very powerful. A survey in the New Statesman found that 89% of people surveyed acknowledged that the number of likes they received made them happy. However, a further 40% confessed this pleasure stopped as soon as the likes stopped. If getting likes is easy and delivers a significant dose of dopamine to our brain, where can we find similar happiness beyond our screens?

“We refuse to turn off our computers, turn off our phone, log off Facebook, and just sit in silence, because in those moments we might actually have to face up to who we really are.”
― Jefferson Bethke

Regaining Digital Control

Once you’ve become mindful of where your attention is going, you can start taking measures to liberate yourself from distracting technology. Quit apps that aren’t adding any value to your life (or at least trial quitting them!), get an ad blocker, manage notification settings so you are in control of when you want to receive them, and consider using anti-distraction apps. Many people set “availability hours” for email and instant messaging, so people know when they can contact them and when to expect a response.

It’s all about creating the conditions for focused, uninterrupted work – keeping low-value tasks and disruptive requests contained. It’s also about making a considered choice about what you focus on. It’s a considered choice to pause before you speak or pause before you choose to engage.

There will ALWAYS be distractions pulling at you. The choice you have at any moment is to wake-up, decide for yourself, act for yourself, think for yourself and go about creating a life path that embodies love, joy, and compassion. No matter who or what calls for your attention, decide if it’s in alignment with your life path, where you’re heading, and what you want to experience today, and then act accordingly. That is being in the high-vibration LOVE frequency. That is using your power wisely. That will produce beneficial results.

“Instead of focusing on how much you can accomplish, focus on how much you can absolutely love what you’re doing.”
― Leo Babauta

Present and Future Focussed

Consider that you’re not restricted in any way, even if you don’t have in front of you today, that which you wish to create more of. Apply the Law of Cause and Effect by focussing on what you love and what you are for. Work towards it and keep inspired, positive, and uplifting company. Anyone can do this. You just need to begin, be patient and consistent, and stick with the path of love. Rewards aplenty!

Use what you learn about what ‘could’ hold you back to ‘not’ hold you back. Rise and flourish because of it! With each of us doing this, the world will shift for the better.

When you choose to focus upon and align with low vibration energy (unconsciously or consciously), this generates great fear. Fear creates negative energy and keeps you stuck. This means that what you create is not long-lasting. It falls apart easily and doesn’t generate pride or personal satisfaction. You’re always left wanting for more. Never being satisfied and looking for the next shiny object or experience to make us feel good, is rife in 2020. It’s happening, simply because we have forgotten to connect within, to find and use our own power, and to act from love.

When you think, act, and express out of fear you will feel restricted. You may always want to go BACK IN TIME to a time you felt life was ‘better’ somehow. Your future vision becomes clouded and uncertain. You find it difficult to rise above the mundane daily distractions. You pour all of your energy into the physical side of life, and you lose your perspective.

“The time that leads to mastery is dependent on the intensity of our focus.”
― Robert Greene

The Secret to Overcoming Fear

Give your energy, focus, and attention to what you are FOR, rather than what you’re AGAINST. There is no point trying to ‘convince others’ of how they’re wrong and you’re right. That’s a waste of your energy. You’ll end up fighting and defending, and you will end up feeling deflated. Simply share with others what you love, focus on it and extend your knowledge abundantly.

When we focus upon our empowered positive path, resisting the urge to become distracted by the negative stream of others, the result is that the negative has the wind sucked out of it, by people actively engaged in the positive. All of the negative press, government/big business fear tactics, and conspiracy theories in the world are NOTHING if they don’t have YOUR engagement.

Your focus is EVERYTHING!

“Situations seem to happen to people, but in reality, they unfold from deeper karmic causes. The universe unfolds to itself, bringing to bear any cause that needs to be included. Don’t take this process personally. The working out of cause and effect is eternal. You are part of this rising and falling that never ends, and only by riding the wave can you ensure that the waves don’t drown you. The ego takes everything personally, leaving no room for higher guidance or purpose. If you can, realise that a cosmic plan is unfolding and appreciate the incredibly woven tapestry for what it is, a design of unparalleled marvel.”
― Deepak Chopra


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