Be Vigilant With Your Attention: Don’t let it lapse.

John Cousins
February 7, 2023
2 min read
Photo by Chase Clark on Unsplash

Alapse is a temporary failure of concentration or judgment. For example, a sports commentator might say, “a lapse of concentration in the second set cost her the match.”

A lapse of attention may seem inconsequential but can have permanent consequences.

When you allow your attention slide for a moment, don’t think you can pick up where you left off.

Keep in mind that every mistake is an inflection point that branches into a different future. A minor mistake shifts you into an adjacent possible with a bit less potential.

Because of today’s lapse, everything that follows will be necessarily worse.

Letting our awareness guard down makes us more vulnerable to avoidable mistakes.

We aren’t’ perfect and will never be free from error. But it is possible to be a vigilant person always aware and striving not to make mistakes.

To paraphrase Annie Duke in her fabulous book Thinking in Bets, that vigilance of not letting our attention lapse will move us toward objectivity, accuracy, and open-mindedness. That movement compounds over time and creates a significant change in our lives.

A simple change that I made in my life that helped focus my attention was to stop drinking booze. A sober person has an immense awareness advantage. As Penn Jillette has said,

“If you move sober through the world, you have this huge advantage.”

We can at least escape a few mistakes by not letting our attention wane. Avoiding avoidable mistakes compounds over time. Like compound interest on an investment, it is a powerful effect.

This attitude will nudge us into adjacent possible that will be better. Better is the best we can hope for, or achieve.

Focus on the little things. They add up.

Remain mindful.

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John Cousins
Author, Entrepreneur, & Teacher

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