One of the most powerful phrases in human language is "I am here." It is powerful because it is utterly simple and profoundly true. Anything that is said or thought afterward is just an addition to this basic, unfaltering truth.
Do you really believe in change? Do you really think that you can transform your life? These are important questions, especially at the beginning of a new year when most of us have, once again, made "New Year's resolutions."
Is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD) a real thing, or is it just a byproduct of the times we live in? We have overcommitted, over-scheduled and overextended ourselves. Have we been conditioned to be an ADHD/ADD society?
The challenge is to know at any given moment where our attention is most needed. If our cell phone rings while we are talking to a friend, do we pick it up out of habit, or do we take the call because that is where our attention is needed?
Human beings aren't designed to do two cognitive tasks at the same time (much less three or four). The research is clear that we're far more efficient when we do activities sequentially, rather than simultaneously.
Something insidious has happened. The same device most of us use to get our primary work accomplished is also now the repository of 1,000 distractions and every imaginable source of immediate gratification.
For nearly a decade now, I've begun my workdays by focusing for 90 minutes on the task I decide the night before is the most important one I'll face the following day. I long ago discovered that my capacity for intense focus diminishes as the day wears on.
Why don't the schools and universities teach design thinking for thinking? We teach physical fitness. But rather than brain fitness we emphasize cramming young heads with information and testing their recall.
Gratifying our most immediate needs and desires provides bursts of pleasure, but they're usually short-lived. We derive the most enduring sense of meaning and satisfaction in our lives when we serve something larger than ourselves.
When your time gets out of hand, when your loved ones turn into strangers and your home life begins to crumble, I suggest you sound an alarm. Pick up a kitchen timer, and turn the dial counter-clockwise.
There is a profound difference between pleasure and satisfaction. We can derive pleasure without much effort, but it typically doesn't run very deep. Satisfaction requires an investment of effort and attention.