Digital distraction is rampant. The workday is interrupted by random web searches, conversations trail off as people check their phone screens, and who has the time to keep up with all the new time-saving apps?

Without the ability to focus our attention on the present, we’re always in a state of partial attention, instead of full attention. The flow state of artists and athletes has been studied so people can understand it better and become immersed in their own creative flow.

Ideas change the world, and ideas come from focused awareness. Having the ability to follow through with an initial concept is what sets apart people who get things done and people who have a million great ideas, but never act upon a single one.

It’s no wonder there’s a new (ancient) thread running through our culture. People want to be more mindful, focused, and have a sense of clarity again. Meditation is being rediscovered, since being able to live in a less distracted way is becoming critical to social interactions, both in the workplace and in one’s social life.

Being present is the next big thing. Sitting across from a human being and listening is the new thing, and it’s going to be a culture shifting activity. Salons will make a comeback all across the country. Groups of people sitting around and talking about big ideas like its Paris in the 1920s. Talking in coffee shops is already cool, but it’ll get ever cooler. Connecting, listening, sharing insights is the new mode of communication. Looking in someone’s eyes while talking to them will produce new emotional insights. All across the country, people will step away from their digital devices and speak with emotional exuberance about feelings and ideas. 

People are called upon to accomplish tasks in their careers, as entrepreneurs, as cultural leaders. Every day we have a list of what has to be accomplished–from mundane shopping lists to helping to land a rover on Mars. We’re living a time of overwhelming distractions, and we’re living in an age of scientific breakthroughs that boggle the mind.

Nothing happens without shoving aside the distractions and finding the clarity to do what you set out to do each day.

Every great thing in the world started from an idea. Maybe the idea was conveyed in a brief conversation, scribbled down on the back of an envelope, or hastily jotted down on a whiteboard. When did that idea happen? In a present moment in someone’s mind. Someone who had the presence of mind to focus and follow their idea. If you don’t follow where ideas are going when they appear, they have a habit of disappearing. Erasing the future before it happens is no way to live life. When you focus on now, you’re creating what could be with every breath.

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