With January behind us, and hopefully our resolutions still intact, it’s time to reflect on any positive momentum we’ve built over the past month. While most of us understand the need to take meaningful time out of our hectic lives to sit and reflect, few of us do this at regular intervals, and even fewer of us practice the art of reflection daily.
Nonetheless, the very idea of passive reflection echoes what I suggest we all make time for: actively seeking out peace and quiet wherein you can consciously attune yourself to your immediate surroundings. While related to reflection, I know that practicing this act of quiet attunement will also build your momentum into the future. Now, making this daily commitment to getting attuned certainly represents an excellent first step to significantly altering your life for the better. Yet recognizing areas in our lives that prevent us from practicing this act of quiet attunement is perhaps the next most important step.
In fact, one such area revolves around the increasingly sophisticated age of advertising clutter that we live in today. For better or for worse, the average person in the US sees hundreds to thousands of advertisements each and every day. This creates a deluge of distractions wherein the individual must brace herself against the multitude of transient messages that, if she pays them any attention, drain mental capacity simply by competing for mindshare. In short, thanks to our ability to flit through the internet on a moment’s notice, we invite distractions from something as simple and important as quieting our lives and getting attuned to our world.
Still, some may now claim that this applies less to them, or perhaps even not at all, for they are masters of the multitask. Unfortunately for these pundits, much research has highlighted how mythical these types of individuals are; how rare it is to find someone who can truly, and efficiently, parallel process multiple, distinct tasks. And even if you are a true multitasker, this advice may apply even more to you, for staying attuned to the world at large involves remaining calm enough such that the awareness of a slight misalignment in an event is matter for discussion and contemplation. As it currently stands, multitasking, or multiprocessing, necessarily detracts from one’s ability to instill this sense of calm and attunement.
A deceased mentor of mine, David Viscott, once said, “I feel like a fish at the bottom of a calm pool; I haven’t moved in weeks. Then, a mosquito alights on the pool’s surface, and when I feel it, that slight ripple is matter for discussion. For others, their pool is so wavy that you can throw a watermelon in and they don’t even know it.”
To take his analogy even further, if you’re like me, sometimes you get so attuned to people that you know what they’re going to say before the speaker starts to talk. This necessarily indicates how people constantly give off clues, inviting us to take heed and notice. Interestingly, and I hope you agree, we are more likely to accept this invitation when we ourselves are fully open and receptive to the notion; when we are truly attuned to those with whom we interact.
James Lani, Ph.D.
Founder and CEO
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