I never have enough energy or time to do things I need to

Attentional Abundance


The Context

Here's what the modern mindfulness industrial complex doesn’t talk about enough. All of that meditation and breathing and yoga and being present, it actually makes us calmer and more energetic at the same time. It’s counterintuitive, but it really works. Think about the most mindful person you know. Someone who lives in the present moment. Someone who really takes the time to stop, notice, care for themselves and intentionally decide where they want to use their attention. Have you ever heard that person complain about not having enough energy? Highly unlikely. Because starting from that place of clarity and calm actually fuels them. Being mindful enables them to the source of time in their lives, not a victim of it. Compare that person with the most mindless person you know. Someone who is perpetually worn down by their own frantic actions. Someone whose scattershot mind is constantly whisked away on fruitless excursions into the past and future. What do they complain about? Everything. The majority of their energy is devoted to what has already happened or what might happen.

The Tool

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Attentional Abundance

ATTENTIONAL ABUNDANCE — Building a narrative around mindfulness that supports and enhances your overall experience of fulfillment and calm

Try thinking about it like an appliance. Modern products like ovens, stoves, washers, dryers and freezers use significantly less energy than their older predecessors. Compared to the products from twenty years ago, today's models use about forty percent less energy. Electrolux, the second largest multinational appliance manufacturer in the world, actually did a study on this efficiency, proving that if households updated all of their appliances that were more than ten years old, the annual savings would be twenty billion kilowatts of electricity. Twenty billion. Can you imagine what we could do with that volume of energy? It’s the equivalent of taking a half a million cars off the road. Point being, that’s the leverage power of being more mindfulness. We become extraordinarily energy efficient. We develop an ability to see things as they are and sit with our difficult tasks that seem overwhelming to others.

First day on a new job. One of my coworkers asked me if was a coffee drinker, and my answer was no. She was aghast and said, wait, but where do you get your energy? True story. And what my answer should have been was, from various places, but the one theme behind all of them is some kinds of presence. When you choose to spend the currency of your energy intelligently and efficiently on a moment by moment basis, you’re left with tons of undirected kilowatts of energy to redirect into meaningful pursuits.

The Rest

The reason we don’t sweat the small stuff is not because it’s all small stuff, but because as we get older, there’s more big stuff, and we need to conserve our energy. That's attentional abundance. In a world where so much of that small stuff fritters our mental energy away, sending our minds on trips to the past and future, more of us could benefit from it. What intention might help you conserve your attention?

The Benefits

Become extraordinarily energy efficient.
Take yourself out of the victim position in regards to time
Feel less stressed, pressured and rushed in your daily routine
Deal with long term, difficult tasks that seem overwhelming to others

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