Focusing on the Unnecessary
There is a famous video out on the interwebs that will put your mental faculties to the test. I won't spoil the outcome if you haven't already seen or heard about it.
Back? Ok great! What did you experience? If you're like most (and me), you completely missed a huge gorilla walking right across your field of vision in plain sight. It can be quite a shocking experience. It's also humbling to realize that in focusing on one detail with high intensity, our conscious mind is unable to track and becomes oblivious to nearly everything else going on.
It's a reminder to choose wisely where we focus our attention for when the world is full of false metrics that can be quite seductive. We can choose to focus on money, attractiveness, weight, calorie consumption, Facebook friends, titles, etc. All of these can be useful. Alternatively, all of them can be complete distractions from what truly matters.
The key to changing our blind spots is to scrutinize where we're focusing our attention, abandon the areas that are not useful, and turn our attention to the things that really matter. Otherwise, like in the video, you'll be counting balls when you need to focus on the big gorilla waving at you.
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About Rick Manelius
Quick Stats: Chief Product Officer of DRUD Tech. Author of Winning the Lottery Within. Graduated from MIT in '03 (BS) and '09 (PhD). Life hacker and peak performance enthusiast. This blog is my experiment in creative writing, self-expression, and sharing what I've learned along my journey. For more information, read my full bio here or contact me.