Reclaim Your Mind- The World Wants Your Attention
Have you ever seen the shadowy B-Movie classic, ‘They Live’? A young man finds a pair of sunglasses that allows him to see the media as it really is, revealing continual subconscious programming by ‘aliens’ that are controlling his attention.
As laughable as the film was in the 1980’s, the notion that our consent is indeed being engineered is beginning to gain significant traction.
“As these platforms are funded by advertising, their incentive is to get us to spend as much time as possible using them, even if it’s not productive. One of their tactics is to serve you bite-sized distractions that I call ‘sugary content’. It’s stuff that’s very clickable, easy to consume and leaves you still feeling hungry”
Tristan Harris agrees. In ‘It’s Time To Redesign The Attention Economy’, he says that it’s not what these platforms show us that are important, but what they leave out. Since these online platforms are geared by algorithms, then we automatically consume what they can push forwards as important. He asks
“The question is, what deserves your attention? And who gets to decide?” — Tristan Harris.
It also begs the question — what is the intent of those giants behind the attention economy? Is it health, happiness, peace, freedom, empowerment for all?
Does what we are asked to give our attention to strengthen our spirit, or weaken it?
Does it build our inner strength and self-belief, or does it disempower us and cause us to search outside ourselves for a solution?
The power of attention
By giving your attention to something, you are more likely to be pulled towards it. Research into the subconscious mind shows that the subconscious (which rules 90% of our behaviour) will take the direction in which you focus your attention.
“Energy flows where attention goes” — Tony Robbins
So if you are bringing emotion to something every single day, if every morning you are consuming negative media, feeling negative emotion, and focusing on a specific situation consistently and feeling bad about it, you are pulling that towards you, and disempowering yourself.
It’s not an accident.
It’s time to become more conscious of what we are consuming.
It’s time to set boundaries on our attention, look after ourselves, and recognise what happens when we give too much of our attention to unhelpful thoughts.
Our subconscious is programmed via emotion
What we tell our subconscious mind has tremendous power. And there is no better way to program our subconscious minds through words, pictures, music and emotion.
I’ve studied hypnosis, consciousness studies, and meditation, as well as reading countless books on this subject, like The Power of Your Subconscious Mind.
But none of this really holds weight or means anything until you practically monitor what happens in your life once you change your attention on a consistent basis.
Don’t take my word for it — you can prove how powerful your emotional attention is to yourself.
Brands know this.
In the Forbes article ‘How To Design For Emotional Brand Experiences In The Attention Economy’, Rebecca Vogels says:
“Brands are also investing in highly emotional content intended to make their audiences, well, cry. Creating highly emotional experiences seems to be an attempt to stand out and get to what is most scarce in our current economy: customer attention.”
The engineering of attention
If you have a problem, is it better to worry about it, or take a positive approach to finding solutions?
The mainstream media are also largely disempowering when it comes to our attention.
And what we give our attention to, is what we give our energy to.
So what is the solution?
To consciously reclaim our attention, and gain sovereignty over our own power.
Reclaiming our minds — the ‘attention diet’
Taking in negative media each day on subjects that we have no direct influence over is akin to doing something detrimental for our bodies every day.
“The same way the proliferation of junk food fucked up our bodies in the 20th century, the exponential growth in junk information has fucked up the emotions and minds in the 21st century” — Mark Manson
Think about the media you consume. Is it making you feel like shit? Then maybe it’s time to stop consuming it. Of course, it’s important to stay informed on current affairs (and Mark has tips on how to do this), but know that just like having a Dominos pizza, it’s probably not healthy for us to consume this on the daily in order to become happy, healthy, flourishing beings.
When we reclaim the power of our attention, what do we see?
Thich Nat Hahn says “The most precious gift we can give is our attention” and indeed, your attention is a gift.
Notice where and when your attention is being directed towards a particular emotion.
Reclaim your mind.
Where will you focus it?