The most important thing to do in life is spend your time wisely. And so now there's a book about that.
In Rapt, acclaimed behavioral science writer Winifred Gallagher makes the argument that the quality of your life largely depends on what you choose to pay attention to and how you choose to do it.
Gallagher grapples with provocative questions - Can we train our focus? What's different about the way creative people pay attention? Why do we often zero in on the wrong factors when making big decisions? - driving us to reconsider what we think we know about attention.
As suggested by the expression "pay attention," this cognitive currency is a finite resource that we must learn to spend wisely. In Rapt, Gallagher introduces us to a diverse cast of characters - artists and ranchers, birders and scientists - who have learned to do just that and whose stories are profound lessons in the art of living the interested life.
No matter what your quotient of wealth, looks, brains, or fame, increasing your satisfaction means focusing more on what really interests you and less on what doesn't. In asserting its groundbreaking thesis - the wise investment of your attention is the single most important thing you can do to improve your well-being - Rapt yields fresh insights into the nature of reality and what it means to be fully alive.
There is nothing I hate worse than being on somebody else's schedule if I think they are wasting my time. It's quite probably my worst habit. I'm not sure really but I can probably guess that it's something people can sense from me. I really love the company of good people but heaven forbid they begin sentences with 'maybe you should,..'. In fact, I want to hear people's advice; it's a great alternative to literature. But, I'm an awfully acute peg to put into a obtuse hole and I really get upset about it. The best way to give me advice is to tell me how you think God would solve the problem we are faced with and then I'll try to go Him one better.
Some of our personality traits serve us well and we are in an enviable position when we can honestly say "I've always known that" when an interesting how-to book comes out. And so it is with me an spending my own time focused on those things that satisfy my curiousity and give me contentment. I know exactly what they are and they allow me to remain humble and I cannot tell you how much I am thankful for my humility. It gets a competitive ass like myself out of a lot of sticky situations.
These days however, I'm in something of a panic. I've discovered some very interesting things adjacent to my career that it's not clear I may get an opportunity to participate in officially. As Morpheus says, it's like a splinter in my mind.