We’re each a hot commodity—the ultimate product, manipulated, bought and sold around the world. We’re being harvested, often unaware that we’re unwittingly playing our part as both the product and consumer, used by wise marketers.
Thinking of ourselves as hot commodities may seem egotistical but it’s a reality the world over. I wasn’t surprised to learn we’ve become prey, as neuroscientific formulas are applied to help capture us and we often unwittingly play along.
The scarcest precious resource isn’t diamonds, gold or anything of the like—it’s our attention. It was startling to learn computer algorithms, analyzing the number of “likes” we make on social media, can predict more about our personality than our friends, family and even our spouse.
Among marketers of all varieties, consumer attention is the ultimate commodity. Whether it’s through social media, the news or advertising, we’re being hunted. Our precious attention is captured with each click on our devices. Anyone who’s watched the Netflix documentary, A Social Dilemma, will know this.
Because of the brain’s inherent negativity bias, the tendency to pay more attention to what’s negative or threatening, we’re more prone to notice and remember the bad than the good. It’s easy to fall down the rabbit-hole on social media, but if we’re savvy, we don’t have to be victims.
Where we spend our mental-coin and attention is up to us. We alone govern what captures us, yet becoming aware of where we’re spending our attention is key to our health and happiness. The adage of what we focus on increases certainly applies here and it impacts how we think and feel; it’s called programming for a reason.
While it’s important to stay informed with what’s happening in our world, it’s vital we remain conscious and aware of where we’re spending our precious attention and how it makes us feel. It impacts our mental, emotional, and physical health and our relationships.
For me, I find great value in consciously and intentionally reflecting on the uplifting and inspiring, whether it be television programs, news stories or people.
My life’s filled with inspiring people and one dear friend, Shirley Denison, has been a source of inspiration to me for many years. As she turns 90 years-old this week, she is a living testament that your age and circumstances don’t have to define you.
Shirley’s endured many challenges, hardships and changes in her life. But she’s never become hardened by what she’s experienced.
Having raised four successful children on her own, she’s a woman of heart, determination, intelligence, beauty and grace. She stays engaged with life and she still loves to bake and cook for her family and friends, and even gifted me with home-made mincemeat for Christmas. It tasted like a memory to me and I’m delighted she shared her recipe with me.
Take care with your programming. Notice how things make you feel. Take a few moments to reflect on those special people in your life who inspire and uplift you. Consider telling them how much they matter to you. You’ll both feel better for it.
Be sure to focus on what’s good and what feeds your soul as you take conscious ownership of your precious attention.
“Whatever we put our attention on will grow stronger in our life.” (Maharishi Mahesh Yogi)
Happy birthday Shirley. Thank you for inspiring me, being my friend and calling me to be a better version of myself.
This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.