Life

Where’s Your Focus?

There’s a neat little extension for the Chrome browser called Momentum. All it does is affect what happens when you open a new tab. Usually with Chrome there’s either a default home page (such as your email) or else there’s a bunch of icons of frequently-visited or past web pages.

Momentum changes that. Instead it puts up a breathtakingly beautiful picture, shows you what time it is (and a few other details you can customize) and (the first time you use it each day) asks: “What is your focus today?”

You type in whatever it may be – often for me I simply type in the one-word mantra that I chose for the day’s 5-minute journal – and from then on, for the rest of the day, whenever you open a new tab, you are reminded of that focus.

Screenshot 2015-03-11 10.21.03What’s the Point?

Well, first of all you’re cutting down on the temptation to go off down the rabbit-hole of chasing emails and looking at other websites. Instead you’re reminded, quite gently, of what you’ve chosen to focus on.

That’s important. I actually started today with the intention of writing about perspective, of taking the long view of time. But what I keep coming back to is the fact that “the long view” is an illusion. It is a hope, a dream, a fiction, and worse we really have NO control over it. None. I’m sorry, but the best you can hope for is to influence it, to create probabilities of what you want to have happen. It’s not ever control. And to paraphrase the Dread Pirate Roberts, anyone who says differently is selling something.

But the future is also the result of the billions and trillions of microscopic decisions we make, moment to moment, added up. And that is a place where we do have control. We can choose, every moment, where we focus. Where our energies (I mean literally: the amount of glucose and muscle power and brain synaptic firings you have each day) are going to be aimed.

Momentum helps with that, in its own special way. Other things can, too – ABMann’s journal of Franklin’s virtues, the necklace Natasha wears to remind her of our commitment to each other, the pictures of my grandsons I carry on my phone. All of these are talismans with the power of re-focusing our intent.

I’m not saying you should give up your daydreams of a bright future. Frankly, just watching the trailer for Tomorrowland has me staring off into space dreaming of flying cars and talking watches. But remember that it’s only as real as the very next decision you make as you finish this blog and close the web page.

What’s your next tab going to be?

 

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