Celebrating Ignorance

Has your new year begun well? I do hope so. It’s already nearly four weeks old and the pace is picking up. Mine began with getting Covid, which was unpleasant and tiring, but also oddly reassuring compared to getting it 12 months ago when it would almost certainly have been so much worse. That feels like real progress.

We know so much more now and we continue to benefit from vaccinations and booster shots and new medications. These are all the result of extraordinary efforts and discoveries by individuals and organisations who’ve given their focus and attention to finding exactly what’s needed at this precarious moment in our evolution.

It got me thinking about Attention again, and about how we choose (or don’t choose) to ‘spend’ our precious attention, one of the few things we really own. I’ve been reading James Clear and this quote from his book Atomic Habits really struck home:

“The world contains far more information than any single person can learn in their lifetime. The question is not whether you are ignorant, but what you choose to be ignorant about. Few topics are worth your precious time. Choose what you pay attention to with great care.”

Hence my slightly provocative title here, Celebrating Ignorance. What I mean is, let’s celebrate the choice to remain ignorant about what doesn’t seem to matter very much (including most of the clickbait/ diversions/ sophisticated seduction of social media and our favourite apps), and give attention instead to the relationships and stimuli that are truly ‘worth your precious time’. Let’s know that ignorance can be bliss! 

We know through our beautiful attention-giving as listeners and Thinking Partners, and through being Thinkers ourselves that attention is ‘an act of creation’, and that whatever we choose to focus on will expand and grow exponentially because of that attention. It’s beautiful to see it happen in others. How do we make sure that we apply that same expansive, precise focus to ourselves, to our own thinking, to what we notice and to what we choose not to notice?

My only resolution for 2022 is to choose to remain ignorant about what doesn’t matter (however attractive it may seem in the moment) and to enjoy the ‘not knowing’ for the space and potential it offers instead. How about you?!


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