ᴅᴀᴠɪᴅ ᴘᴇʀᴇʟʟ ✌ @david_perell "The Writing Guy" | Host of the North Star Podcast: perell.com/podcast | Writing at perell.com/ | Teaching at writeofpassage.school/ Oct. 10, 2017 2 min read

1/ Attention deficit has become a trait — not a condition.

2/ Distractibility, inner frenzy, and impatience define modern life.


3/ Billions of dollars are invested every year to automate our attention — to put us in a trance of infinite feeds.

4/ As a result, we’re addicted to powerful, personalized algorithms that turn attention into dollars.

5/ There have been four scarcities in human history:
1. food
2. land
3. capital
4. attention

6/ Power and wealth shifts to those who control the fundamental scarcities.

7/ In the attention economy, people who control the fundamental scarcity — attention — are called “influencers."

8/ Attention presents a tradeoff. To observe one thing is to miss another.

9/ There is a biological basis for this: Our perception of reality is illusory.

10/ @fortelabs writes: Attention is more powerful than mere knowledge, but more concrete than consciousness.

11/ Daniel Dennett found that our mental models purposefully constrain us. This lets us pay attention to the most relevant information.

12/ Since we're biologically incapable of perceiving everything, constraints frame our attention.

13/ Freedom then does not come from limitless possibility, but rather the ability to consciously choose your own constraints.

14/ We become what we pay attention to. Tell me what you pay attention to, and I’ll tell you who you are.

15/ By offering or withholding our attention, we craft our own unique experience.

Change your attention, change your world.

16/ Consciousness is the great human gift.

Awareness of awareness, and therefore, the ability to choose what we pay attention to.

17/ When we change what we pay attention to, we produce different thoughts, different skills, and different states of mind.

18/ Conscious attention is the first step towards prosperity and psychological freedom.

19/ When we lack constraints, we numb ourselves with distraction.

Let purpose frame attention instead.

20/ Think freedom in constraints, not freedom from constraints. Let attention and constraints flow in harmony.

21/ The goal is not to experience everything, but to experience the best things — to optimize our attention.

22/ At each moment, we decide where to place our attention.

23/ Feynman’s 12 Problems provides a nice balance between presence, purpose, and long-term discovery.

- @fortelabs
- @jordanbpeterson
- @vgr
- @naval
- @albertwenger
- @davidmcraney
- @maciejolpinski

Big thanks to @mistermircea

If you enjoyed this, you’ll also like this thread 👇

You can follow @david_perell.


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