A personal essay that has grown out of conversation with my father.

— Tom Joads to Ron Joads —

So, is the value of your work a tool which will enable users to ignore the everything else which distracts them from finding a solution to their issue?

My analogy, I have heard that a good way to save money is to have a friend do your shopping for you. They only buy what is on your list. This ‘mentored’ searching and acquiring is more efficient.

And therefore I thought you might like this story from The Washington Post.

The incredible power of ignoring everything



— Ron to Tom  —

I just read Seneca’s essay in the brevity of life. “Life is not short but we make it so. It is not that there is too little time. It is that we use what we have unwisely.”

I think this is a very important thing. But probably not “our business” thing in the fundamental interpretation of avoiding distraction. We do help you find great guidance. And shortcut your brain to “trust” by relying on successful people’s quotes. (Not unlike what the Washington Post did with Richard Feynman at the end of that article.) In that sense we help you not get unfocused by searching through articles of Crap.

But the very important and hard question is “what is a distraction?”.

Somethings, the Kardashian family for example, are obvious. The real villains in this story are those distractions who masquerade as important. In high school this might be broadly defined as “others’ opinions”. In the more common vain of life this might be pursuit of excess wealth as means to happiness.

We tend to focus on things that provide immediate or loud feedback. It is not that the real focuses are secrets, but that they are “covered”. Covered by various fogs. Fogs of social conformance. Fogs of the status quo. Fogs of inherited “defaults”.

To remove these fogs, I try to ask myself “So what is quiet and slow but critically important?”

I would suggest our health, our relationships with others, and our sense of self identity as answers that might this question is useful.

Perhaps these are villains in masks. How can we know for certain? I don’t know, but more can be discovered through thoughtful action than infinite introspection.

The trick, it seems to me so far is to change your defaults. Be automatically opted in to these slow, quiet paths. Take stairs. Sit on the floor. Give up your car. Have communal responsibilities. Engage in self discovery by using alone time. Be relentlessly focused and uncompromising in a set of truths.

And then occasionally question them to see if they have been masquerading villains.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s