Preoccupied by little of value

6 Min Read
1189 words

It was a full day training, but in the background there was a conversation going on WhatsApp about left and right political topical news of the day from the US. I didn't take part, not just because I had other things to do, but also because I find most of the discussion around this topics indulgent in some way, where nothing said is actually going to be acted upon in any way, it is just going to take up space until people lose interest and then the next topic gets injected to fill the void.

While I was prepping my afternoon session, I was thinking a little bit about how preoccupied I have been lately by doing various things and then was wondering,

"Is it me who is preoccupied, or them?"

When we talk about occupation, it is in two senses of the word, where one is about being employed, as in holding a job and getting some pay for it - and much more recently, it has been used to explain when a country rules over another country with troops. Preoccupation however, means to seize beforehand, which is why when people states, "You seem preoccupied" they are saying that a person's attention has already been allocated to other thoughts and they are not paying attention to the current conversation.

Attention is the most valuable resource we have at our disposal, as it is pretty much the only thing that we can control to affect our world in a way we intend. Intention is our reasoning and goal, attention is us actively working toward that end.

So, why is this important?

It might not be for you, but it is for me. The reason can be summed up by a John Lennon line,

“Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.”

As it speaks about while we are attending to what we think is important, life is passing us by.

But, what we are so often attending to, is a discussion of content that not only doesn't bring any real value to our lives, we aren't actively using it to affect our world. It is "busy work" handed to us to keep our minds occupied, so we are preoccupied when things arise that require our attention. We may say we are busy, but what are we actually busy doing and when we are too busy, how much of what we are busy doing is valuable to do?

I find that most of us are quite happy to have in-depth discussions on what is largely irrelevant, yet we expect to get spoon-fed information on things that actually matter in our lives.

For example, one of the people in the discussion today has been "waiting" for an opportunity to dive into Bitcoin and crypto and while they have consumed a massive amount of information surrounding topics like the one discussed today, they spend zero time looking for that dip. They wait for it to fall into their lap, later find out they missed the opportunity and then wait again for the next - it is all passive and there is no attention paid to fulfilling the intention of getting into the market.

I believe we all do this in various ways and in the past, there were the people who would sit in front of the TV and watch stuff that they weren't even interested in, because they were too lazy to get up and change the channel or do something else. Now in the digital age of on-demand access, we have even more opportunities to become preoccupied, filling our attentional opportunity with irrelevancies, yet still getting the feeling that what we spend our time doing, is getting us closer to our goals - our intentions.

"The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the greatest intention." -Oscar Wilde.

But it isn't just in regards to kindness. It is for everything we do or, don't do. Small acts add up and will compound against each other to create large changes - in the same way that small and consistent investments will increase over time, leading to gains that punch above the original weight.

For example, my friend who is waiting for the perfect time to get into Bitcoin, could have been buying small amounts of Bitcoin for the last three years monthly. While they may never have have bought the monthly low in all of that time, they would have a massive amount of gains under their belt today. A massive amount. They would have bought some Bitcoin at 2000, some at 60,000 - but if they had put 100 dollars into each month at those prices, the hundred worth would have been worth 3000 when buying at 60k.

But, this is the thing when we are preoccupied mentally and financially. When we are thinking about other things, we aren't paying attention to our goals. When we are spending on other things, we aren't investing into where we want to be. When Bitcoin hit 30,000 the other day, my friend would never dream about putting 10,000 dollars into it - but if he had been laddering in monthly for the last 36 months, he would have likely seen it as an opportunity that triggered him to buy more - an action.

"The smallest act of investment is worth more than the greatest intention."

But, while crypto investment is not the only important thing in life, I suspect that much of what we are preoccupied doing is not related or supportive for reaching our goals at all. When we spend so much of our valuable attention on what doesn't lead us to where we intend to go, we are highly unlikely to get to where we want to be. Yet along that path, we can feel like we are doing something important, even though it is not tied to anything active at all.

It is like whenever there is something important going on that we should be paying attention to, investigating, acting on, another shiny bauble is thrown into our playpen to draw our attention away from what we can affect, and onto something where we are again controlled consumers. Even if we notice when opportunities arise, we are unprepared to take advantage, because our resources are already occupied by the shiny bauble troops that have seized our attention and left what actually matters to us unattended - even if we intended to act on it.

It is hard to pay attention today, as there are a million streams and feeds of information, a billion notifications, trillions of data points, all trying to grab out attention and extract our value, by making us believe that whatever they are selling, is important. It is hard to invest ourselves into being where we want to be, when everything in our environment is telling us to be somewhere else, buy something else.

While the masses are preoccupied by little of value, there are a few paying very close attention to what to keep it that way.

Taraz
[ Gen1: Hive ]

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