The Reticular Activation System is the part of our brain that acts as a gatekeeper and filters out the things we take notice of, which are usually things connected to what we’re already aware of and focus on. This is why when you first become aware of something, you then notice it in other places, where before you didn’t. Once you notice something, your brain is designed to make sure you keep noticing it.
James Redfield, perhaps best known for his novel The Celestine Prophecy, is quoted as saying “Where attention goes, energy flows.” (Sorry Tony Robbins.)
Mark Manson points out that economies organize themselves around scarcity. For most of human history, most economies were based on the scarcity of productive land for food growing. With the industrial revolution, the primary scarcity shifted from land (machines could help cultivate plenty of food) to labour – trained people to run the machines. In the last half of the 20th century, the scarcity shifted to knowledge, and we entered the knowledge economy. Advertising and marketing came to dominate society as primary means for getting information to people on how to allocate their resources. With the advent of the internet, knowledge is no longer a scarcity. We have more information and knowledge than we could ever hope to process or understand. The new economy is based on (remember this from the first part of this post?) attention.
To sum up: 1) attention is a scarce resource. 2) Once we give something our attention, our brain prefers to keep our attention there – until we place our attention somewhere else. 3) Where we place our attention, our energy follows.
Where we place our attention matters.
Please consider sharing this post with someone if you found it helpful.
You can sign up to receive these posts here.