“Life all the time distracts our attention and we do not even have time to notice from what exactly.” ~ Franz Kafka
If there is one thing the world is really good at, that is distracting us from the things that are truly valuable and essential in life. The world keeps you occupied, but never truly satisfied; always striving, but never arriving – to an actual fulfilling and loving place.
And when you’re always busy with doing more and wanting more – of the things you don’t really need, but can’t get enough of – chances are that you will have little, to no energy left to pay attention to what’s really happening – right before your eyes.
39 Things We Don’t Pay Enough Attention To, But We Should
1. How we feel deep down inside
When we are alone, but also when we are with other people. When we are at work, and when we are away from work. When we walk into the world, but also when we retreat from the world. When we follow the crowds blindly, and when we choose to stand on our own.
2. How we are always occupied
3. How little we live for ourselves
And how much of our lives is wasted on living for others.
4. How afraid we are to stand for Truth
And point out the things that are so terribly wrong with the world.
5. How we are always striving
But never arriving – to an actual fulfilling and peaceful place.
6. How tired we have become
Of ourselves and of the whole world.
7. How little we think for ourselves
And how much of our thinking is actually done by others.
8. How much we care about others
What they think, say, feel and do; what they expect and want from us. And how little focus, love and attention we place on the things we expect and want for ourselves.
9. How much we talk about authenticity
And how unauthentic most of us actually are.
10. How little value we place on ourselves
And how much value we place on others.
11. How hard we work for our money
And how easily we waste it away.
12. How far away we have stepped from the Essential
And how preoccupied we are with things that do not really matter.
13. How connected we seem to be virtually
And how disconnected we are from the whole world.
14. How much we obsess about our needs
And how little we care about the needs of others.
15. How small and insignificant we think we are
And how the giants we see ‘out there’ always seem far greater and much more powerful than we ourselves are.
16. How little we love
Ourselves and those around us. And how much we judge, fear, hate, attack and condemn – not only ourselves, but everyone around us also.
17. How much we think
And how little we feel.
18. How divided we have become
From one another and our true selves. And how little we remember about the Unity and Oneness of it all.
19. How much information there is available to us
And how little wisdom.
20. How much we talk about our dreadful past
And how little we focus on building a brighter and better future.
21. How easy we buy into this idea that we ‘need’ every little thing ‘they’ sell
No matter the price, and whether we actually need it or not. And how easily we throw our money at them.
22. How little respect we have for our elders
And how we look at them as if they already have served their purpose and we don’t need them anymore.
23. How disconnected we are from our bodies
And how little attention we pay to the many signals sent to us daily – in the form of anger, tiredness, unease and disease.
24. How accustomed we have become to noise
And how allergic we are to stillness and silence.
25. How obsessed we are with outward appearances
And how little attention we pay to our inner worlds.
26. How little honesty we practice
With ourselves and those around us. And how angry we get when others are doing the same.
27. How often children are disregarded
And treated as if they are clueless little creatures who have absolutely nothing to teach.
28. How offended we are by every little thing
And how angry we get whenever someone dares to stand up and tell a different story than our own.
29. How desperate we are in trying to escape ourselves
And how we would do just about anything to numb ourselves and not have to feel the excruciating pain and emptiness that is present underneath it all.
30. How much ugliness is created daily
In art, science, architecture, fashion, business, music and so on. And how much of it is perceived as ‘innovative creations’, ‘genius’, ‘authentic expression’, and ‘art’.
31. How poorly mothers are treated
32. How teenagers and young adults are heavily exploited
And made to think they are the ones in control – of their own thoughts, actions, choices and lives.
33. How little we enjoy life and living
34. How obsessed we are with the materiality of things
And how little value and attention we place on our spirituality.
35. How hooked we are on technology
And how disconnected we are from ourselves and the whole world.
Instead of realizing they are in this together – One with each other, and part of the same Great Whole.
And how we always have to tend to more ‘urgent’ matters and take care of things that are far greater and much more ‘important’ than them.
38. How busy we are with talking and talking – about ourselves and everything that’s going on in our worlds
And how we fail to stop and truly listen to what’s going on in other people’s hearts and worlds.
39. How there is One Power within us
Far greater than all the forces of the outside world.
Now, can you stop? Can you stop and really pay attention? Can you pay attention to what’s happening in your body, mind, heart and world so that you won’t risk wasting your life chasing a mirage, only to reach the end of your life and say with Ivan Illyich, in Leo Tolstoy’s The Death of Ivan Illyich, “What if my whole life has been wrong?”
Always remember: Your attention is incredibly valuable and essential for your growth, happiness, health and wellbeing. And you must treasure it at all costs! No matter what happens, you must not give it away to things that lead you nowhere good.