Close Enough

When did you last spend three to five straight minutes just listening to a song? Not while doing laundry. Not while walking. Not while playing a game. When did you last close your eyes, sit down, and give your whole attention to the task of paying close attention?

We evolved to survive in an environment where attention to detail matters. Eat the imposter mushroom and you’d die. Overlook the distant rustle in the grass and you’d get eaten. Miss a few too many subtle social cues from the elders and the tribe exiled you. But now we live in an environment inundated with details. One could spend hours and hours hunting down technical minuatiae of a game series without ever looking to the tens of thousands of other games. People make entire careers out of studying individual species. Managing a small company can take a lifetime or more. When it comes to choosing an area of focus, where does one even begin?

Start with what’s in front of you. It’s already there and ready for you. What about that old album made you fall in love with you? What about this blog post compelled you to keep reading this far? What’s actually happening in that daily meeting you otherwise tune out? What is that loved one actually saying? Spend a few minutes focusing on what’s there, in the moment. It’s the only thing you can focus on.