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Attention Under Siege


There used to be a time when pumping gas was an opportunity for me to take a pause, a mindful moment, if you will. I would focus on my breath or simply count backwards from 100 to create a sort of mini-vacation for myself.

Now, however, my attention is under siege at some gas stations by what is called Gas Station T.V. As soon as the gas begins pumping, the video begins rolling, presumably because we are no longer content to stand for a minute without technology.

It seems as if we are becoming a society that needs to be constantly entertained with some type of media – and while I am reaching you using one of many interrupters right now, when you’re finished reading this I want to challenge you to eliminate some of these attention grabbers and energy drains for things that you consciously choose.

I am now using my gas station experiences – where I am unable to turn the video off or down – to test my ability to tune it out and to focus on what I want to focus on. Ultimately I can only control my focus, my choices, and where I place my attention. My car may need gas, but that does not mean I can’t still choose my mini-vacation.

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