I still find it hard to trust Johann Hari’s writing, but this is more introspective and covers a subject that we all know is an issue: attention.
For me, despite being ‘verified’ on Twitter and having what used to be considered a decent number of followers, I’ve deactivated my account. I think it’s for the last time. I’m so much calmer when not using it.
I realised that to heal my attention, it was not enough simply to strip out distractions. That makes you feel good at first – but then it creates a vacuum where all the noise was. I realised I had to fill the vacuum. To do that, I started to think a lot about an area of psychology I had learned about years before – the science of flow states. Almost everyone reading this will have experienced a flow state at some point. It’s when you are doing something meaningful to you, and you really get into it, and time falls away, and your ego seems to vanish, and you find yourself focusing deeply and effortlessly. Flow is the deepest form of attention human beings can offer. But how do we get there?