The New Norm

I thought I was going to write more, and I did (technically) as I have been following a daily journaling habit. It's just that there's so much content out there it seemed a bit pointless to vie for attention, which I consider to be a form of currency in itself. This new norm seems to be taking attention seeking to new levels, as many may not be getting the amount of social contact that they have been accustomed to. Perhaps this may be my own form of attention, which I pretend is a way to practice writing. Or perhaps not, for how can I get feedback without producing any content? I suppose the purpose behind what I want to do guides the direction I take. If I wanted attention, should I not simply produce content that grabs attention (i.e. click bait)? However, my goal is to craft a convincing argument, which may produce a lesson. If there's one thing to take away from the currency of attention, is that it's like any other kind of currency: it's outside our control. It's up to others to give us attention or to ignore us, and it's not ideal to give this power to others. To base our own well-being on the attention we get from others is not recommended.

Recently, I've taken some time away from watching TV (i.e. streaming online) and read the Harry Potter collection (books 1-7) for the first time. I watched two of the movies before (The Sorcerer's Stone and the Half Blood Prince), but fortunately, I did not remember much of what happened. I'm grateful for the luxury of having the time to read, but I simply read when I would typically watch TV, which I suppose would have been a lot of TV over the past 24 days. This definitely took away from having to watch the news and away from social media, where I found many days where I didn't spend much time online at all. Without spoiling the story, the Harry Potter books are structured in school years, with each book having the characters grow one year older. One of the key concepts from this is that only the highlights of the year are discussed, which makes the story interesting because we are constantly wondering: what happens next? And so we keep reading, trying to find out what happens as all the mundane parts are not included in the book, otherwise they would be much too long and probably hard to get through. Each book is pretty much a highlight reel, just the same as movies and other media that keeps us engaged.

But real life isn't like that, nor should it be that way. We can't keep looking forward to the future, because the worst thing about getting to the end of the last book of Harry Potter is that the story has ended (although we could argue that we could read The Cursed Child but I have been warned not to go there). The lesson I learned from Harry Potter was that it is important to make use of time wisely, because training when things are going well prepare us best for times we might need it the most. This is something I try to reiterate constantly as a badminton coach, because training is supposed to be something that prepares athletes for competition. We may only read briefly about Harry Potter's Quidditch practices, or Hermione studying in the library in the book, but the timeline often jumps through periods of time where nothing interesting happens. However, we should not be mistaken that nothing is happening.

So how does this tie back with attention? It's simple: spend time crafting what you do and produce quality content; train hard so that you may perform well when you need to; learn more so that you may be able to make a difficult decision in the future. It can be anything, but remember that we are writing our own stories in history. Don't worry about who you once were or who you will be later, but rather focus on who you are now. Learning to enjoy the process will help you be grateful that you spent your time wisely when you are put to a test. And when you are tested, the greatest regret is often: I should have done more to prepare. If there are no regrets, then you have spent your time wisely.

And now, it's time to spend my time wisely.

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