Over the years, when speaking to groups, I’ve shared many times, my belief the #1 skill for the 21st century is the ability to focus. Today, more than ever before, we are living in an attention economy. Every business, every social media outlet, is craving and demanding our attention. Your attention is truly your most precious resource.
It is your responsibility to determine who and what you are going to give your most precious resource to. In order to succeed, in order to make better choices, you must be the gatekeeper of your mind. If you aren’t paying close attention, you will find yourself, believing whoever has the biggest marketing budget, and following whoever is speaking the loudest and the longest.
There are people sharing positivity and creating hope. Each one doing their part for incremental improvement, striving to make a difference. They are doing good work and having an impact. Unfortunately, their stories go unheard. Social media is more concerned about what is noticeable than what’s real.
You and I have limited energy every day. We also have limited time here on earth. Each day we must make a conscious choice about how we are going to utilize our time. Are we going to spread negativity and contribute to “outrage culture,” or are we going to focus on what we can control and become better today so our tomorrows will be brighter?
It’s important to realize, we all tend to judge others by their results, while judging ourselves on intention. For example, “If Joe didn’t complete his work, there should be consequences. On the other hand, “I did the best I could in the amount of time I had.” If we all utilize a little empathy, it will be easier to judge others on their intentions.
In order for each of us to make a positive impact in our circle of influence, we must believe that people can change. We all make mistakes. We must practice forgiveness, or the possibility of redemption becomes extinct. One of the most fundamental human drives is the ability to grow and evolve. In order for us to grow and evolve as a society, we must be able to grow and evolve as individuals. Eliminating the possibility of redemption, makes it harder for us to progress as a society.
I firmly believe individuals need to be held accountable. Unacceptable behavior should not be ignored. However, atonement must be possible. The possibility of learning, growing, and changing must be allowed.
Let’s face it. No one, not you, not I, want to be defined by our worst day or act. When we refuse to allow for atonement; when we refuse to accept the possibility of learning from our mistakes, growing, and changing; we prevent individuals from ever prospering. If we cannot prosper as individuals, we cannot prosper as a society.
When colleges decline to accept a high school student with honors because of posts from freshman year, what is the message about high school education? When an individual’s job is threatened for a statement made a decade ago (with no ongoing issues for the past decade), what does that say about the possibility of atonement?
The same principle applies to the ex-felon. If the individual has served his/her sentence, has paid his/her “debt to society”, yet continues to be judged for a past mistake, how can we as a society expect him/her to ever reintegrate back into a law-abiding citizen.
Ostracizing someone because of a single-act, never allowing for reconciliation, comes at a heavy price. How many people will be afraid to try, afraid to comment, out of fear from what a failed attempt or a misconstrued comment will have on their collective future?
All you have to do is look around to see what negative effect an “outrage culture” and “cancel culture” are having on all of us.
It’s time to realize each of us are carrying two pails. One in each hand. In one pail is water. In the other pail is gasoline. We each have a choice. Which one are we going to pour on these social media fires called “outrage culture” and “cancel culture?” I ask you to join me in putting out these fires. We need to get back to seeking out the positive. We must look for better perspectives. We must look for lessons to be learned from all of the setbacks. We must seek opportunities instead of highlighting what’s been lost. Let’s explore what we share in common instead of focusing on our differences. If we don’t, our future will go up in flames.
Remember, there is greatness within you. You must choose greatness. It won’t develop on its own. I believe in you!
“When we change the way, we look at things, the things we look at change.”
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Published by Bryan M. Balch, Results Coach
Helping Individuals and Businesses Achieve Desired Results
#focus #attention #leadership #outrageculture #positivity