Exercise: Use Attention to Your Advantage

by Rachel Miller

August 30, 2022

ABOVE : Andrei Caliman

Distractions are fun! It’s enjoyable to look at things we like, read about things that interest us, and plan for upcoming opportunities to enjoy them. There’s nothing wrong with these things, but consider the costs involved.


  • Nothing is free. Consider something that interests you or something you’d like to own or purchase:
    • Each minute you spend looking at or reading about that thing further implants the desire for it in your mind–even if it’s something that you don’t really want!
    • What you read about, think about, and watch, you will want more of. Whether it’s clothing, food, or an experience–every minute of attention further increases your liking of it and your wanting for it.

  • Keep this in mind whenever you’re reading or watching something. Ask yourself:
    • Is this something that I really want? Do I want to be wanting this thing?
    • Is this most important right now?
    • Does this enrich my life or help me achieve my goals and be fulfilled?
    • If you know, deep down, it’s not going to really satisfy you and that a month from now you probably won’t care anymore—then spend your attention on something more fulfilling.

  • Choose to spend your attention on what will give you lasting satisfaction.
    • If you want a lifestyle that allows you to travel more, and you know you need to spend less money on clothes to get there, avoid looking at shows or media that make you want to purchase those things; if you want to eat out less, avoid looking at pictures of desired foods and restaurants.
    • It’s not that these things are “bad” or “wrong,” it’s that when you weigh them against what you really want, they aren’t worth it.
    • If it’s not something that deeply satisfies you, spend less attention on it, and you’ll find the desire for it, interest in it fades away, and you’re left with more time, money, and energy to spend how you want!

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Comments (1)

  1. Edie says:

    Excellent! I needed this reminder today!

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