Where Is Your Attention

Where Is Your Attention?

behavioral design Mar 10, 2021

When you look at the internet, the average amount of conscious and unconscious decisions we make each day, some simple, some more complex, is about 35.000. Although, it is still debated, it is a huge number! Besides, according to the researchers at Cornell University, we make 226.7 decisions each day on just food alone. So, when you start really thinking about it, the reality does not seem very far from that number.

Each day, we are faced with increasing number of choices.

What to eat, what to do with our spare time, which book to read, which film to watch, what to wear, which coffee shop to go and which coffee to drink, which course to take, which article to read, what jobs or career choice to pursue. Examples are endless. And each choice comes with certain consequences, either good or bad.

According to the consensus in behavioral science, when it comes to making decisions, our brain is driven by two systems:

  •  System 1 is largely automatic, which makes reactive decisions based on intuition.
  • System 2, on the other hand, is deliberate and makes rational, analytical decisions.

Well, decision-making is an energy consuming process, and our brain is kind of… lazy. It has limited energy to spend for rational decisions. That is why many decisions and behaviors that start out as system 2, ends up as system 1. They become a habit to save some energy. Imagine the first time you rode your bike and how you ride it now. Or your first car ride and how you drive now. Imagine the first meal you cooked and the way you cook now. The differences are the result of exactly this notion. Have you ever found yourself getting off the bus stop closer to your workplace, instead of the one close to the shopping mall on your way to do some shopping on the weekend? Well, I did. And it all happened as a result of my brain wanting to create a habit and save energy.

The more I learn about how our brain works the more fascinated I am. The way it creates habits to make everything easier and simple for us… But I also do know that while it tries to make everything easier for us in this complex world, this effort of simplifying things also costs us greatly. As in the case when I found myself at work instead of at the mall. It is a simple mistake that can be solved easily, but what about when the cost is higher than that?

What about when you stay in the job you do not like or in a relationship that frustrates you?

Yes, people do such things out of a “habit” as well.

Take staying in a job we do not like. We kind of get used to its presence and continue doing it without really paying attention to whether it makes us happy or sad, whether it has any purpose, meaning for us or it is totally pointless. Even sometimes, we know what is best for us, but something prevents us from doing anything about it or we do not know what to do, where to start.

Paul Dolan, in his book Happiness by Design, states that the real reason most of us are not as happy in life or at work as we could be is because we focus our attention on the wrong things.

Happiness is in how we feel; in how much pleasure we have; in the purpose we find, moment by moment, day by day.

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It is in how much attention we pay to our mistaken beliefs, mistaken desires and what do we do about them.

If you think that you have had “more of the same” long enough and ready to face with your mistaken beliefs & desires, let us support you in reorienting your attention and redesigning your current work so that it fits with your passions and interests.

The obstacles in front of enjoying what we do for living are sometimes so obvious, yet so fuzzy; sometimes the solution seems so simple, yet so difficult. Let’s find out all and discover what works for you together at www.uniquenessdiscovery.com


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