Economics, at its core, is how we, as a society, answer how we handle scarcity. Scarcity, by definition in economics, derives from having limited resources and unlimited wants and needs. We are always valuing these resources, such as food, shelter, gold, clothing, technology, etc. The list goes on and on and on. Today I had an, “ah ha” moment. Our most scarce and precious resource isn’t food, isn’t clothing, or shelter, nor is it how much money you have (or don’t have). Are you ready for this? Our most precious and scarce resource is our attention!
There, did that get your attention? Okay Lonnie, you are from Colorado, have you been partaking in some legalized, recreational substances? No, not at all. What I realized is that everything is vying for our attention, but it is grossly under supplied vs the immense amount of demand for it. Every second of every day, someone, something, is working hard to get our attention. We are controlled by that. Go around and try to avoid something seeking it. It is impossible to do. Your smart phone wants your attention, your family, your friends, some guy in Thailand that has one million dollars to give you (still waiting on that Pei Chung, if you are reading this), oh and let’s not forget about advertisements, and the dreaded email! I certainly get way more email per day than my attention can handle. So now what?
[blockquote name=]”Our most precious and scarce resource is our attention!”[/blockquote]
Unlike food, clothing, shelter, and other resources, thinking of our attention as a resource, we actually have the ability to control how and who gets our most precious resource. What if you just took a moment and thought about what things deserve your attention? And I mean really deserve it. Like a resource that is so badly needed, who is going to get that resource and how? Today’s society and all our social connectivity has led to all of us having our most precious resource taken away from us. We may be more connected than ever to just about everyone, but does anyone ever get our undivided attention? How often are you at a meeting, or lunch with friends/family, and you look around to see that most people are, sadly, looking down at their smart phones, having their attention drawn away to things that truthfully are not as valuable as the friendships and family you are with.
We have to get balance in our lives. These things will still get our attention, but we must now realize that only the highest bidder (those things that are most important to you) should get your most precious resource. It won’t be easy, but I challenge you, myself included (I need to practice what I am preaching here), to look at those things or people in your lives and decide what of those you value most and plan on them to get the best of your attention. Now that I have your attention, stop reading this and give your attention to things that really matter.