Managing Our Attention

If we want to accomplish anything worthwhile, we have to start by managing our attention.

It will not manage itself.

Left to its own devices, our attention will drift, wander, and try to pull us away from that which matters most.

It will do whatever it can to avoid that which is difficult for the sake of that which is comfortable.

If we want to make progress, we will have to battle against procrastination, distractions, and excuses.

We have to get to work.

This will require us to create boundaries for ourselves.

It will require that we make demands on ourselves.

It will require us to decide what matters and what does not, and to eliminate the latter until we accomplish the former.

This will not be easy.

It will come at a cost.

We will have to let go of a lot in order to focus on that which is essential.

This may upset some of the people in our lives.

Our absence where we were once present will cause ripples.

While that is unfortunate, if we are serious about doing work that matters, it is necessary.

Our attention is limited and is, therefore, precious.


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 Kogen Dojo Self Defense Academy where he teaches Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

All photos by Robert Van Valkenburgh unless otherwise noted.

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