There is nothing more important to your sovereignty, sanity, and success than your attention.
Show me where your attention is and I’ll show you where you’re headed.
You ever look into the passenger seat when you're driving and you look up and you've started veering right without even knowing it? Your body instinctively moves in the direction of your attention.
That’s why there’s so much competition for your attention. All day, every day.
Advertising, social media, entertainment, news…There’s a reason they call it “programming.”
The socialists in governments, big tech, and multinational corporations are constantly and relentlessly doing their damnedest to overwrite your code and reprogram it to their benefit.
They’ll distract you to keep you unproductive so you need them more. Then, they’ll convince you that you need them even more than you really do. And the death blow to Western Man has been dealt by delivering the allure of comfort and complacency as the remedy to discipline and hard work.
They want you soft, so they make it easy to be soft. Gone are the days for western man where being soft meant almost certain death. Being soft has never been more popular. And the results are disastrous.
But you can break out of these destructive feedback loops and begin to return to your hard wiring by taking control of your attention.
Are you sure your thoughts are even your own?
Did you get that ad on your timeline because your phone is listening to you? Or has your attention been hacked and directed to make that ad the perfect offering for your manipulated desires?
What do you do to guard your most valuable asset—your attention?
When you wake up in the morning, do you check your phone to see what someone else has told you deserves your attention? Do you turn on the TV? Get on the computer?
Or do you take some time in silence as the sun rises to pray, meditate, and organize your thoughts and your objectives for the day. Do you go to the gym?
The choices are pretty simple. Not necessarily easy, but it is quite simple.
You cannot serve 2 masters. You think you can serve 10?
Choose your priorities carefully or the matrix will choose them for you.
You’ll spin your wheels, accomplish nothing, and wonder how you ended up where you are.
What REALLY deserves your attention and energy?
There are 3 areas you need to identify so you can allocate your time and attention appropriately: Your circle of control, your circle of influence, and your circle of concern.
Circle of Control
Nearly all of your time and attention should be focused here. This is where you can make the most dramatic impact on your present and future. What is in your circle of control?
No one can or will take care of your body like you and no one is as responsible for your health as you are. You have primary control over your diet, your sleep schedule, your exercise, your workload, and your finances.
What are you consuming? (reading, listening to, watching) What are your conversations about? Who are you talking to? Who are you hanging around with and building with?
How much time to you spend in prayer? Meditation? Silence?
If you aren’t taking time to recalibrate your bearings, you’re gonna end up twisting in the wind.
Be honest with yourself about where you’re falling short and make the necessary changes. How well you tend to your circle of control is going to dictate your effectiveness in your circle of influence:
Circle of Influence
Unless you are a hermit, this circle is unavoidable. This circle will inevitably interfere with your circle of control. What you CAN control, though, is how you manage and limit this interference.
Most important is the aim of your influence and how well you optimize that influence.
Obviously family is going to be your greatest area of influence. The blood connection, the hereditary similarities, the shared experiences, and the time you spend together create a potent mix of fertile soil for influence.
Cherish this and remember this is the greatest opportunity to create your legacy. Make the most of it.
This includes your friends – while you may spend more time with friends than you spend with many of your family members, you probably don’t have the same friends you had 5 years ago, let alone for a lifetime. Family is always family.
In a similar way, your neighbors will come and go, as will other folks you interact with regularly. But you should always try to make the most of these relationships.
Your local community (your workplace, church members and leaders, local small businesses, local community organizations, local “leaders”)
Circle of Concern
Everything else goes here. A general is well served to be attentive and aware of far off threats so he can be prepared should they enter his circle of influence, but he should not neglect his immediate duties to worry about things outside his circle of influence.
And he should be careful not to perceive distracting noises or movements as threats or opportunities.
It may seem very important to pay very close attention to a presidential race or an international crisis thousands of miles away.
Spending 20 hours a week watching nonstop news coverage and arguing with strangers on the internet isn’t going to feed your kids, make your business successful, or increase your muscle mass.
And it sure as hell isn’t going to make you pleasant to be around. When you die, your kids aren’t going to say “I wish he spent more time arguing about politics.”
It's fine to keep those things in your circle of concern on your radar, but obsessing over them at the expense of what you can actually impact is a fool's errand.
Proper compartmentalization of concerns outside your control or influence will keep you on task so you can fight the fight that’s right in your face. You have work to do. Get to it.