Jose Ortegay Gasset: “Tell me to what you pay attention and I will tell you who you are.”
The teacher said, ‘Pay attention to the class’
Mom said, ‘Pay attention to the food’
Dad said, ‘Pay attention to studies’
Friend said, ‘Pay attention to me when I come out of the trial room’
Boyfriend / Girlfriend said, ‘Pay attention to me/ my nuances/ my small and stupid talk & remember everything’
No one really ever said ‘Pay attention to yourself’ / ‘Pay attention to being good’ … Sigh!
Result – all girls pay attention to (well, most girls) is – their shopping and boyfriends & probably grades (that too is tangential because mostly they dream of getting married to a rich guy and do more shopping. A threshold amount of ‘padhayi’ is important to catch hold of that richie rich).
And all guys dream about is – well! we all know 😛 (Ok! Most of the guys. Not all)
We have kind of stopped paying attention to things that really need attention. MBA has taught me to be precise. So I’ll take it point wise.
1) When was the last time we paid attention to our goals in life? Like proper undivided attention. And by this I mean also paying attention to ‘how are we going to achieve it’ i.e. honing the skills needed. Dreaming day & night about what we want to become is fine. But we need to sharpen our axes to be able to take down the gigantic forests of ‘doubts & hurdles’ faster.
2) When was the last time we paid attention to someone who couldn’t do much for us but we could do a lot for them? Never quite understood why people go to help the society on their birthdays alone. Rest of the 364 days, the society and the downtrodden remain comfortably forgotten while we burn ourselves out on the dance floor, waste ourselves away in a pub/bar or splurge on things we never really need. Attention deficit disorder?
3) Ah! Relationships. My favorite 🙂 … when was the last time we paid attention, like proper attention to the one we fell in love with? I am not saying one should only think about them 24x7x52 (I would be the last person to say that). Whatever little time we spent with our loved ones, how sincere were we with the amount of ears and concentration we lent?
4) When was the last time we decided, we will not just vegetate? When was the last time we thought of doing something for the first time? I met Mr. Kiruba Shankar a few days ago and learnt some really awesome things in the very short meeting we had. He started rowing after college. Did not do sports during the entire 4 years. Yet, led his team to victory consecutively for 6 years (Read more). It is never late to start. Important is to start!
5) When was the last time we paid attention to ‘THINGS THAT SHOULD BE PAID ATTENTION’?
A lot of things will try to distort this attention equilibrium. It is up to us, how fast we get back to the equilibrium. Use a catalyst, shut down all external interventions or whatever. But maintaining this balance is very important.
To let the sweet smell of wet sand distract you for a moment is okay. To dance in the rain is great. But if these get too much attention and we dance in the rain every time they happen, all that happens is, we fall ill (After all, we are not the protagonists of Indian Television 😛 – they should be ambassadors of Durable batteries). Enjoy the beauty around, but keep your eyes on the summit. Go out & party. But come back and study/work (more than 100%).
Attention is a weird and stupid thing. But must of all it is stubborn. And needs a lot of attention 🙂