What are you ‘paying’ attention to?

Our lives are defined by Salience – What you’re paying attention to, what you’re not paying attention to and how much energy you’re using up deciding between the two. Take our message’s image (above): Are you paying attention to the front of the man’s face, or on its side? Can you change it?

Do you ever stop and think about what this means? You are literally ‘paying’ attention, so what happens when you run out it? You accrue Attention Debt.

I appreciate this message is long, however, these ideas and implications are so powerful, I truly believe it’s imperative you know as much information about them as possible. The length reflects its importance.

If you’d like to find out more information about Attention, Thinking Well and Mindfoolness, why not come on our Project Mindfoolness Live! day? You can see all the details here: www.mindsways.com/PMFL/

21st Century Salience

The thinking sciences have been turned on their head.

Since the middle of the 20th Century, classical approaches to thinking and psychology have focused on the symptoms and brushed away the causes. We stopped paying attention to what created our problems and started paying attention only to the outcomes: obesity, mental health issues, depression, neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Our 20th Century thinking focused solely on trying to eradicate these issues, and we lost sight of the root causes.

And we all know what’s happened since then, don’t we?

The NHS is spending £5.5 million every week on anti-depressants. Hate crime has risen by 29% in the UK last year alone. 68% of men in the UK are overweight or obese, with 58% of women trailing just behind. 1 in 4 adults in the UK will experience a mental health issue this year; that’s 16 million people across the country.

This is the true outcome of our society’s Attention Debt: a series of 21stCentury problems being tackled by 20th Century thinking. What we’re paying attention to and what we’re not have lapsed into dangerous territory.

We’ve let these Attention Debts around diseases build up, affecting almost every aspect of our lives. And now? Now we’re facing one of the toughest decisions we can ever make: declare Attention Bankruptcy, or fall into Attention Austerity.

But I believe it does not have to be this way.

What if you could increase attention, for yourself, your clients, your friends and your family? What if, by changing the way you think about attention, you could change how you approach problems like stress, sleep and diet? What if, instead of paying attention, you invested attention?

Salience and the Mind’s Ways

This may sound impossible to you, but I believe there is a way. And it all starts with the mind.

Rather than thinking we are suck with a limited pool of attention (what economists and scientists call a Zero-Sum Game), what if we could work together on increasing:

  • Creativity
  • Playfulness
  • Discovery
  • Passion
  • Mindfoolness

What if you could start paying attention to things we haven’t noticed before? Isn’t that all that creativity is?

What if you could start paying attention to things that don’t really exist? Isn’t that all that playfulness is?

What if you could start paying attention to things that you never thought were there? Isn’t that what discovery is?

What if you could start paying attention to things we love to do? Isn’t that what passion is?

What if you could start paying attention to all the ways your mind fools you? Isn’t that what magic and mentalism is?

I believe our society deserves something better than running on our Attention Debt. I believe our society deserves to be making a better choice than just Attention Bankruptcy or Attention Austerity. I believe you deserve a better approach to ‘paying’ attention. You deserve to be investing your attention, you deserve to understand more about your mind, and I believe you can find that in Mindfoolness.

Investing Attention – Saliency and Mindfoolness

Saliency is all about understanding, appreciating and working with the complex networks which your brain and body functions through. Mindfoolness is all about building a bridge between what we’re paying attention to and a better understanding of what’s really going on.

Together, this leads us to a new way of thinking: Investing your attention.

When you start to think about your attention as an investment, you start to realise how it can gain interest and return to you in a far greater way. When you start to think about your attention and the compound effect (little movements every day leading to massive shifts over time), you begin to see just how much potential understanding your mind can give you.

So, let me ask you a question: At any one time, what are you investing your attention in? What are your potential clients investing their attention in? What are the people around you, or those you’re aiming to help, investing their attention in? Is it:

  • Your method?
  • Your message?
  • Your performance?
  • Your persona?

Start thinking about what levels of saliency you’re working on. Start thinking about your attention as an unlimited pool (a non-zero sum game) that you can make more withdrawals and deposits from through your understanding. Start thinking about how you’re investing your attention.

The Science of Salience

Emerging science is teaching us how these ideas can have a profound impact on our everyday lives.

We’re using new and important ideas coming from cutting-edge research to build a solid foundation for you through Mindfoolness and Project Mindfoolness Live!. Rapidly advancing science from:

  • Neuroscience
  • Constructed emotions
  • Expanded emotions theory
  • The gut-brain axis, microbiome
  • Sleep and sleep theory
  • Behavioural insights
  • Interpersonal neurobiology
  • Along with classical psychology

are producing new perspectives that can profoundly change the entire concepts of ourselves.

Consequences of these ideas are incredibly far reaching. I find them worthy of the title ‘awe inspiring’.

My fascination with mentalism and these new ideas is growing daily, especially when I see the important significances all around me in weight loss, energy levels, engagement and attention, memory, sleep, self-esteem, mind-sets and much, much more.

These ideas have massive implications on your thinking and your wellbeing, which in turn impacts on your performance and productivity. Our umbrella term for this is thinking well.

If you want to learn more about thinking well, how to increase your own and other’s attention and how brand-new science can be met with exciting art, please join us on Project Mindfoolness Live! These are happening in Birmingham (on 27th April) and London (on 3rd May). I’d love to see you there.

Book your place by going to www.mindsways.com/PMFL/

Thanks in advance,


P.S. “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” – George Bernard Shaw

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Categories: Features

I’m a creative thinker, designer and web developer, experienced magician and actor, writer and stage director who uses elements from Psychological Artistry (a blend of psychology, behavioural insights and mentalism) to tell effective, engaging and empowering stories. I believe that storytelling is key to developing a better and more successful business community and society. My aims are to instil a feeling of wonder, awe, authenticity, autonomy and hope in the business owners I work with and their clients.

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