Day 15 - The Attention Economy

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Peter Kirchmer, UCSD

Peter Kirchmer is on the faculty at UCSD Center for Mindfulness and is a Life Coach, Mindful Movement Instructor, and Meditation Teacher. He is an MBSR teacher, a Certified Professional Life Coach and member of the Harvard Institute of Coaching. .

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In today’s information-flooded world, the scarce resource is no longer capital, talent or even ideas - it’s attention. Put simply, the impact of information overload, digital addiction, a workplace full of distraction, and good old multi-tasking are training our brains to splash around in the shallows. 

We become what we pay attention to (either consciously or non-consciously) - so, reducing stress, anxiety, unhappiness, emotional distress, worry, negativity and conflict, can be as simple as paying attention to different input - or decoding same input in a different way.  


Mindfulness trains attention, and our abilities to direct and sustain it. To be passive in the face of constant distraction is to go through life in a dream state - non-consciously reacting to whatever appears, instead of intentionally seeking, learning and growing. Increasingly, attention is the mental superpower that distinguishes the highest performing, most productive people in any field.

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