Your Attention is EXPENSIVE

By Sok Rithea,

Do you realize that your attention is one of the most valuable assets of yours? You don’t think so?  Read till the end!

Regardless of who you are, where you come from, and what you believe in, there is someone and some groups of people out there, with or without your awareness, trying to draw YOUR ATTENTION. Your attention is wanted because it is an important ingredient to help someone reach their target, make a fortune, or fulfill their ambition.

To know if your attention is that valuable, let’s see how hard people out there try to get it. How often do you see any piece of advertisement? Almost always, right? You can find a bunch of them on the roads, on television, on your social media news feed, in the middle of the articles or videos you read or watch online, and so on. In short, they are literally everywhere.

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Two simple, yet critical, questions should be asked. One, why are they there? Two, how can they be there?

In marketing terms, they are there to get into your head. They either want you to know something or to do something. For instance, they want you to know and buy their product. They want to catch your attention because it is the key to open the gate to your mind. Once they have  access to your mind, they can direct your interest and belief by telling you convincingly how good and bad something is to you, your family, or the world. When they have your interest, they will finally receive something they desperately need from you. Something like your money, your presence, your hard-work, or your vote. See? It all starts by getting your ATTENTION.

To answer question number two, “money” is what enables them to be there. When any organization wants their messages to reach their targeted audiences, they have to pay. They pay to put up the billboards on your way home, to appear on your social media news feed, and to be able to pop up in the middle of the video you are watching. That’s not all, they also have to spend money on hiring marketing professionals to work on creating the contents, choosing the channels and selecting the time to push out contents to the public. A lot of money is invested to attract your attention. Fact is, the more attention they want, the more they have to spend. The picture is getting clearer now. They pay to get your attention. In other words, they are trying to buy your attention.

Photo by Darren Chan on Unsplash

However, it is not only the advertisements from those companies or organizations that try to catch your attention and influence your interest and decisions, but also the words from people around you. In fact, words from those around you can affect you more than advertisements because they are people closer to you, or who have some kind of relationship with you, and that is also what you should be more cautious about.

In life, it is inevitable for you to come across the negative comments from some of the people who surround you. They will tell you how impossible it is for you to achieve your goals, point out hundreds of silly reasons why you should not do what you want to do, or try to convince you how bad your ideas are. Worse, they may turn to attacking you personally to get your attention like attacking your looks, your background, or your actions.

Look, when you pay attention to their words, you will slowly and unconsciously start to buy their ideas. You will then question your own ability and commitment, start to be afraid to move forward on the path you like, and, finally, you will give up your dream. They can easily achieve their goal by having your attention. Things like getting your money, having control over you, or eliminating you from the battle ring. And you? You end up not doing what you want to do and doing what you don’t want to do; at last, you end up feeling regret for your whole life.

Photo by Mohammad Metri on Unsplash

To pay your attention right is to pay it to things that generate great improvement into your life. Remember, your attention is the key to your mind, interest, and decision, so give it to those who offer you the positive lenses to view your world. Pay your complete attention to the insightful advice, to the inspiring stories told by great people, and to the wonderful books that will advance your perspective. Last but definitely not least, pay attention to your own voice. It is the only voice that knows exactly what you want and what makes you happy.

In summary, always bear in mind that there are a lot of people out there who spend a lot of money and energy trying to attract your attention, and sometimes, you still refuse to give them that, so why would you bother paying your attention to people who have nothing but negative ideas to offer you? My friend, all I’m trying to tell you here is that your attention is extremely valuable; give it only to people who deserve it.

Views expressed here are those of the author’s and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of UNICEF.

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