Focus and distribute attention…

I’m re-reading Daniel Kahneman’s masterpiece titled, Thinking, Fast and Slow and late in the book, Daniel turns his attention toward the study of how we think about life. He describes research across the world regarding satisfaction with life. For instance, lets assume you’re planning to get married. If we were to ask you to rate your level of happiness the day of engagement it would be extremely high and in the months (nowadays, years) leading up to the big day it would be on some kinda linear rise, according to his research. It would peak on your wedding day. Queue nervous laughter. The same research shows that after 5 years of marriage most couples rate their life satisfaction as lower than 4 years prior to getting hitched. Yikes. Are our marriages really that bad for our happiness?

Nope, they’re not.

We humans are prone to what modern science describes as falling prey to the focusing illusion, which Daniel describes neatly in a single sentence – “Nothing in life is as important as you think it is when you are thinking about it.”

Are you focusing your attention on some small aspect of your life? And, if you are, are you aware how this is occupying your mind and your attitude? Is your leaders lack of confirmation really as damning as you’re making it in your mind? Will your cancelled customer really spell doom to your destiny? Is your new contract gonna make you happy and set for the rest of your life?

Nope, they’re not.

You and I are prone to lots of errors when it comes to the accuracy of our thinking and our ability to project future feelings. We tend to get too wrapped up in one or two things that create some kinda “honeymoon” effect or, purgatory pisser. You are much more than whatever’s occupying your attention at this moment. At the end of each day, put pen to paper. Write your gratitude list. Focus some amount of attention at the end of a normal up and down day by reflecting on somethings, some people, some places, and some times you’ve been grateful for. Masters learn to focus attention on their craft and distribute attention in their lives. You are more complex than you know. Good.

Live hard. Love harder…

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