Not All Attention Is Created Equal

Attention is not the same as connection.

Simply because we are getting attention does not mean we are making a difference. Likes, follows, comments, shares, etc. make keep us feeling important, but that does not make the thing we did to receive them important, or even worth having done in the first place. Our focus should not be on creating notifications, but on creating connection.

Connection is not measured in clicks. It is not measured in views. It is not measured in subscribers. In fact, connection is not measurable at all. It is relational.

If we are focused on doing work that matters to us and we do it with unwavering, uncompromising dedication, others who are like us will notice. They will begin to pay attention. If this attention turns into engagement, a connection will begin to form. This should be the result, not be the goal of our work, however.

As soon as we begin playing to the crowd, as soon as we begin doing things in order to attract attention, in order to drive engagement, we lose our ability to connect. If our work loses the unique quality that made it ours in the first place, if it loses our voice and our essence, it will lose its depth. It is in depth that connections are made and maintained.

Holistic Budo: As it is in budo, so too it is in life. As it is in life, so too it is in budo.

-Robert Van Valkenburgh is co-founder of Taikyoku Mind & Body and Kogen Dojo where he teaches Taikyoku Budo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

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