Do We Know What We Want?

This blog post is courtesy my Marketing Coach, Robert Middleton — and he, in turn, takes part of it from  Lawrence J. Peter’s book, “The Peter Pyramid.”
“We are a strange people. We spend our lives doing things we detest, to make money for things we don’t need, to impress people we don’t like. We never want to be doing what we’re doing. When we eat, we read; when we watch TV, we eat; when we drive, we listen to music; when we listen to music, we work around the house. When we want to be with friends, we go to a noisy restaurant; when we want to party, we spend the evening trying to converse.”

This was written back in 1986 and since then, things have only gotten worse. When we’re on the phone, we’re checking our email; when we watch TV we surf the web; when we’re on the web, we watch Youtube. And when we do practically anything else we’re on our cell phones.
It’s no wonder people are so stressed and overwhelmed. Do we even know what it means to do one thing at a time with full attention? But if we don’t have attention, we are missing life. Attention is life.
Jim’s addendum
We really can’t blame technology for our inability/unwillingness to focus. Multi-tasking existed before computers.
The inability to manage stress is one of the top 4 biggest contributors to chronic illness (three of the top ten most-prescribed drugs are anti-depressants!).  Stress is self-made, and one of the common stories we make up to fuel our stress is that we MUST pay attention to multiple, simultaneous things and that we must get EVERYTHING done.
Giving just ONE thing our full attention is called Mindfulness.  When we are mindful, we slow down. We become more present to the one thing, the one task, or the one person in front of us.  Mindfulness slows down our brain & our body, and creates a space for us to calm down and breath easier.
But to experience mindfulness, we must first give ourselves permission to Stop.  Slow Down.  Focus on Just One Thing.
We say we can’t.  So I repeat Robert’s question: Do we really know what we want?

2 thoughts on “Do We Know What We Want?”

  1. Thank you for the quote and new resource. We have forgotten,
    or denied, that we are in control. We are making each decision:
    the power of choice is a power we always have. It’s quite scary
    to realize this, and valuable to identify and understand the fear(s)
    we attempt to keep at bay by being continually drawn into the
    “everything is urgent” environments we’ve created.
    I think we often do know what we want — that stillpoint within us.
    Why are we so afraid?
    Thanks again for a thought-provoking article.

  2. Stephanie, you make an excellent point — we often do not use that poiwer out of fear.
    In the still place inside, we often assess that being still is “doing nothing” — when in fact it really IS doing something — rebuilding, resting, refreshing, refueling for the trip yet to come.


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