When I walk into the world, I walk. I look around, I see the faces. Most of the faces are somewhere else.
They’re on their iPhones, checking to see if someone ‘Likes’ what they said on Facebook. They’re planning drinks for next weekend with people who will probably bail. They’re sitting at the bar or over a coffee, reacting to the noise instead of enjoying their beer and noticing the faces around them.
This is the attention epidemic of our age. Everything is calling us to be somewhere other than in the moment, present with ourselves.
The deepest problem with this is that the people are basing their happiness on some far off moment in the future, perhaps with people they haven’t actually connected with in a long time.
Memories are a powerful thing. Hope is a powerful thing. But the best of planning now will still deny you the moment that you’re in right now. You’re walking down the street, you’re looking at the sky, you’re smiling at the faces. Occasionally someone looks up, smiles back, and there’s connection. Sometimes you’re sitting right across from someone at dinner and they’re checking their Twitter when they could be telling you a story.
I suppose this is one of the fundamental messages of Minimalist Business. Building a business that runs itself, so you can be present in your own life. So you can be focused on what needs to happen with the action that is happening right now.
The message is simple: if you make the space to have insights worth sharing, you can be paid for them. This frees up more time, and the cycle continues, until you no longer have to work so hard.
None of this happens unless you disconnect for a moment, to be in the moment.
Yes, a lot is going on. The messages in the ether keep flying, and they will forever, speeding up ad-infinitum. I’m especially conscious of this, because there are so many people competing for my attention.
Sometimes you just have to say no, I can’t do this right now. I need to turn everything off and focus on this moment, right now, because it’s beautiful.
So, take a moment and turn it all off. Maybe just for 15 minutes. Go get a coffee, and just drink a coffee. Appreciate the flavor of the soft, delicious texture. Appreciate the farmer who grew these fair-trade beans from Nicaragua. Appreciate the roaster, who managed the temperature perfectly at Blue Bottle Coffee. Appreciate the cute little Barista at The Summit SF who made the coffee just for you — single-made drip coffee is a gift.
Because this moment will never come again.
You’re here now, and now you’re seeing it.