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Do you have an attitude?

Posted: January 26, 2012 - 5:30 PM ET - by Elisabeth

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” – Winston Churchill

Maybe I’m a pessimist, but I’ve been thinking about:

The opportunity to be “connected” all the time, from anywhere … and the difficulty connecting to what really matters.

I’ve written before about meetings and events where everyone is so busy checking their smart phones they don’t talk to the people in the room with them. And in the last couple of weeks I’ve read three separate stories about telephones ringing during live performances. Can’t we disconnect long enough to recharge our minds? Are we so important that we can’t turn off our phones for a couple of hours? I can only answer for myself. Yes, I’ve learned I have to, and yes (you knew I would say that, right?), but I will.

The opportunity to access any information anytime anyplace … and the difficulty, with all the information and ideas vying for our attention, in really thinking.

I keep a “read” file on my iPad for when I have downtime; it grows by hundreds of articles a month and eventually I delete a lot of it. Sometimes I “zen” through the headlines and pick the article the universe must mean for me to stop and read.  But I wonder what I’m missing … besides the quiet reading time that I used to enjoy. And I know the only time I’m really thinking – creating an idea or solving a problem – is when I am not in front of a piece of technology.

The opportunity to spend our time, money and attention on anything … and the difficulty, with so many options, in making a choice.

There’s a lot written about the perils of too many choices. People become paralyzed by the number of choices, the potential for failure and the pressure to achieve unattainable standards. Well, I think that last part freaks a lot of us out, but that’s another blog post.

So how do we connect with what’s important, take the time to think about what really matters, and choose wisely? Well, there’s another Churchill quote for that:

“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.”

  1. SO many great things in this post! To address only one, that last question…”So how do we connect with what’s important, take the time to think about what really matters, and choose wisely?”

    I see this having easily two parts. ONE…how do we prioritize and DETERMINE what really matters? TWO…how do we remain FOCUSED on those things without being distracted away? I can have the “attitude” that makes me WANT to avoid distractions…but when that “attitude” inspires me to take steps to do the little things that help…THAT is when it makes the difference.

    Before typing this comment…I CHOSE to shut down my email program. If something came in…(DING!)…I’d be there. “What did I just receive?” DISTRACTED…and a derailed comment.

    Thanks for the reminder, Ritz!

    Comment by Jeff McMahon — January 28, 2012 @ 10:47 am

  2. Thanks for your comments, Jeff. I’m flattered that you’ve focused on this post. Just don’t find anymore typos, okay?

    Comment by Elisabeth — January 28, 2012 @ 5:01 pm

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