As a youngster (in the 1970s/80s) like may others we wanted attention, we wanted people to notice us. Yeah there are the few introverts who did not feel that way. We wanted feedback, and avoiding certain stigmas. Aka we would rather be seen as rebellious than dumb. Kids bragged about how successful their parents were. For four years I attended a private school, and that was even more competitive for status. As an adult some people grew out of this competition, sadly others did not.
Fast forward to the present, and now its not just kids but it appears that there is a larger push for the notion of getting attention. Wait, you are writing your blog isn’t that an act of attempting of getting attention. I debate this with myself, but if I really wanted attention I would turn these into video shorts, TikToks etc. I would post the blog on other social media sights. But, often I do find myself almost jumping on a hot topic.
I started writing more personally and posted it well to feel I expressed myself. I do not have a way to like, not push for it. I like feedback from my friends who happen to read it, and have changed things, gotten topics from them, but its not my driver.
But there was a time that on Facebook and Twitter I did fall into the trap. The ADHD of getting ‘likes’ on a post or interaction were dopamine hits that were wonderful. The engagement grew if the idea pushed out got a reaction. What Facebook learned is what other media had known is that fear and anger got engagement. The difference is this notion of getting attention could scale, and anyone could garner attention. In fact, a business started up giving ranking of people who had more followers/engagements. Most users of social media didn’t care. Those looking for the high for the likes drove something interesting.
When writing these posts, I find myself doing the opposite. I am paying attention to myself, listening to my brain, my body and introspecting on my thoughts. My distractions seem to fall to the wayside, no Adderall needed. No I don’t use drugs for my ADHD yet, but don’t need them when writing. In fact, its one of the few times I do not use an pomodoro timer I find myself with focus. I find some clarity in writing, a drift away in where I can just type.
So I am paying attention, can focus and happy, why can’t I figure out how to do the same in other situations? If happiness comes from this notion of being able to pay attention versus trying to get attention why don’t I figure out how to bottle it. Well that is why I am writing this post, it is something I figured out as I sat to write this. In fact the title in my notes what the secret to happiness, but I did not know what that secret was.
So how do we change from wanting attention to paying attention? If you know that secret let me know. Is the answer less social media? Is the answer no social media? I have found groups on a few of the social media sites so helpful (ADHD, Tesla, Technology, Workout) not sure could not use them. I wrote about having a friendly dictator that makes them tick, and most input is not looking for attention, but often looking for answers and others helping out.
Is the secret enjoying an experience and not craving the attention that comes from that experience? I was at a concert last week, snapped maybe 2 pictures but enjoyed one of the best shows. I take pictures daily on my commute and don’t post all of them. Not because some are not up to superb quality but I don’t need feedback from social media that way. I take the pictures for myself, share with relatively few people. I take hundreds of pictures of my dog and have a group chat with my kids where we sent hem.
Of all the examples I list above are situations where I am paying attention. Learning from groups on social media sites, enjoying the sunrise/sunset on my commute, writing this blog etc. are all examples of me not looking to be the center of attention but to pay attention. Now if I could only learn from what does make me happy, and figure out how to now pay attention better in other situations. I cannot guarantee I will but just writing this has let me find something if you asked me yesterday I didn’t understand about happiness.
his opinion is mine, and mine only, my current or former employers have nothing to do with it. I do not write for any financial gain, I do not take advertising and any product company listed was not done for payment. But if you do like what I write you can donate to the charity I support (with my wife who passed away in 2017) Morgan Stanley’s Children’s Hospital or donate to your favorite charity. I pay to host my site out of my own pocket, my intention is to keep it free. I do read all feedback, I mostly wont post any of them
This Blog is a labor of love, and was originally going to be a book. With the advent of being able to publish yourself on the web I chose this path. I will write many of these and not worry too much about grammar or spelling (I will try to come back later and fix it) but focus on content. I apologize in advance for my ADD as often topics may flip. I hope one day to turn this into a book and or a podcast, but for now it will remain a blog. AI is not used in this writing other than using the web to find information.Images without notes are created using and AI tool that allows me to reuse them.