“The lesson…then, is that if you want to win the war for attention, don’t try to say ‘no’ to the trivial distractions you find on the information smorgasbord; try to say ‘yes’ to the subject that arouses a terrifying longing, and let the terrifying longing crowd out everything else.” —David Brooks
Distraction is widely viewed as a significant problem in society and in schools. It dissipates energy at work and in our personal lives, and it is truly dangerous when we are behind the wheel of a car.
But perhaps the problem is not distraction, but rather the absence of a compelling purpose—a “…subject that arouses a terrifying longing”—as David Brooks describes it.
“Distraction, from this perspective, is not the cause of problems in your work life, it’s a side effect. The real issue comes down to a question more important than whether or not you use Facebook too much: Are you striving to do something useful and do it so well that you can cannot be ignored?”
What useful thing are you striving to do that cannot be ignored?