The Philosophy of Attention

“You become what you give your attention to.” -Epictetus

We’re in an age where attention is the single most sought-after commodity. If something has our attention, it, unequivocally, has us. What we watch, what we read, who we’re around… Whatever consumes our attention consumes and shapes us. It’s essential that we understand that. If you expose yourself to enough negativity, all that you see and do will be colored as such. But of course, we know this, right? It’s the age-old garbage in, garbage out.

Though it’s not just the obvious garbage we must guard ourselves against. I’m not talking about just limiting your intake of reality tv or filthy rap music. What I’m talking about is viewing attention as a finite resource that begs for our diligent allocation and reservation, as something allotted to us that we actively distribute, or don’t distribute. I’m talking about the silent killers that we persist in focusing on, and the life-giving activities that we don’t.

In essence, we have two choices: become masters over our attention, or be mastered by the forces that fight for it.

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