On cycling your attention

On cycling your attention

[00:00:00] **Aurooba Ahmed:** Well hello, this is The Daily Five with Aurooba. That's me, where we reflect on creating our best lives a little bit every day. Here we go.

[00:00:15] Although having a solo podcast is probably one of the ultimate ways to have gotten on your soapbox, for me this podcast isn't just about having a place to share what I think and believe. And of course, provide you with value. It's also a place to share what I'm questioning and considering. Maybe this is because recently I've been reading a bunch of Aristotle, but the concept of inquiry is lodged in my brain these days.

[00:00:46] So, here's something I've been questioning and considering. What does cycling your attention look like? And how do you do that gracefully?

[00:00:58] But first, let's define cycling your attention. The idea of cycling your attention comes from the premise that, um, We do best when we focus on one thing at a time. However, we recognize that for most people, it's unrealistic to think that there's only one big thing we need to focus on ever.

[00:01:18] Our lives, at minimum, have three spheres of attention. The professional, the personal, and the self. Or, well, I prefer to call it the spiritual, but the self works too. So in any given time period longer than, say, half a day, you probably need to cycle your attention from one sphere of life to another.

[00:01:40] How do you do that? And how do you do it gracefully and, maybe more importantly, completely? These three areas of our lives equally deserve our full attention, and may sometimes suffer more from half attention than in attention, right? The poorly built bridge is not better than no bridge. In fact, no bridge would have been safer than a poorly built bridge.

[00:02:08] How do you transition from work that fully captures your attention to the family life that also should fully capture your attention. How do you transition from the family life to the spiritual or inward looking part of your life that also deserves your full attention? Right? Put your own oxygen mask on first.

[00:02:29] Take care of yourself, if that means spiritually or whatever that means for you. Take care of yourself. So that you can take care of others more.

[00:02:39] You can take it further. How do you transition from, say, focusing on your spouse to focusing on your kids or your parents? Is that even feasible? Is that even the right way to approach it?

[00:02:53] One of the most important factors for success in any relationship, in my opinion, let it be friendly, romantic, or professional, is figuring out how to disagree completely and truly. without tearing your relationships apart. So, when I first started dating my now spouse, there was a time period when we were very focused on that.

[00:03:18] We intuitively found ourselves partway there. You know, we had chemistry, we clicked, so conflict wasn't completely this awful, terrible thing. But, we had to focus on it because the longer you are with someone, the more quirks and nuances pop up. But then eventually we got pretty good at it and then we transitioned into working on or paying attention to some different part of our relationship.

[00:03:42] There was even a good year or so where our relationship was essentially in autopilot mode. It was solid and we were both spending more time on other familial, familial relationships that required our attention.

[00:03:55] The problem I'm finding is that when I investigate and think back about how we transition our attention from different spheres of our life or even different parts of the same sphere of our life. We're often cycling our attention when we're forced to by external factors, so we're reactive rather than proactive. And that bothers me a little bit. You know, it bothers me about me, it bothers me about other people too. So perhaps the better question is, how can we proactively cycle our attention?

[00:04:35] Can we even do that? Is that even the right question?

[00:04:40] Like I said, I have no answers or definitive opinions today, except for maybe that conflict one. I just have some questions about how we handle our attention.

[00:04:54] Thanks for listening. Same time tomorrow?