“If you focus your attention only on what is truly your own concern, and leave to others what concerns them, then you will be in charge of your interior life. No one will be able to harm or hinder you. You will blame no one, and have no enemies.” - Epictetus
Today, thanks to the internet and smartphones, we have a seemingly endless source of information available at our fingertips that the previous generations could only dream of.
All of this information can be a blessing as well as a curse. But as is the case with most things, it all depends on how we choose to make use of it.
In this blog post, I’d like to remind you of something you may already be aware of, which is the importance of focussing on yourself, and just how you can go about doing that.
Why should you focus on yourself?
Of course, by encouraging you to focussing on yourself, I don’t mean to say that you should be self-centred or self-absorbed and think about yourself all the time.
Instead, what I suggest is to focus on what you can control.
That is, focus your time and attention on areas in your life where you can make a positive impact. And eliminate or limit spending your time and attention on matters beyond your control.
While this may sound simple, unless we make a conscious effort to direct our mind, we naturally tend to get preoccupied with the lives of other people.
Moreover, we live in a society that more than encourages us to focus our attention on other people, whether it’s the news, social media, or reality shows etc.
We can spend endless hours analysing, criticising and judging the actions of celebrities, politicians or even the people around us. But at the end of the day, it never changes anything except our internal mood, does it?
More than 90% of what we see on the news and social media has no impact on our lives and are things that we have no control over. It fills your mind with other people’s opinions and agendas which may be of no use to you.
You don’t need to know what hundreds of other people are doing with their lives, and your brain has no use for such information.
Our time, attention and energy are valuable and limited commodities which are ideally best spent on things that help us grow and bring value to our lives.
It’s no use brooding over things we can’t control, but that’s what often happens when we are consuming the news, which is why I’d advocate limiting its consumption to a bare minimum.
While social media is a useful tool, it’s created a culture that encourages us to focus on the lives of others which can make us caught up in a cycle of endless comparison.
If we do not use it consciously, it can easily be addictive and turn out to be something that can drain our time and energy instead of adding value to our lives.
How to focus on yourself
“Give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.” - Christian D. Larson
Here are some simple steps you can take to focus on getting busy with your life, that what others are saying or doing with their time becomes a matter of decreasing importance.
Spend time engaging in your passions and hobbies (here is a guide to discover what you are passionate about)
Focus on activities that add value to your life, whether it’s learning a new instrument or reading books.
Limit your consumption of information whether it’s social media or the news and let go of the habit of checking your phone as soon as you get up in the morning.
Spend time exploring topics and activities that fascinate you
Focussing on ourselves is now increasingly important in the age of social media which has been disconnecting us from ourselves more than ever before.
Ultimately, we grow and become better individuals by focussing on ourselves rather than the lives of others and on matters beyond our control.
If you liked this post, please share it with those who would find it useful— I'd really appreciate it.
For simple & practical wisdom on how to live better and be happier, enter your email below to join the mailing list.