Time and attention are limited resources. I have learned how important this insight is over the years, and for the most part I am convinced it is an essential element that defines the trajectory of a person’s life.
I think of time and attention as a daily investment. Each day and each moment, we invest a little piece of ourselves in the things to which we pay attention. Over time, these investments become our character as our interior life slowly crystallizes into patterns of thinking and acting.
Such investments include everything from what shapes our news feeds on social media to how we spend our leisure time.
I have a hypothesis that the reason most people don’t become saints is that they simply don’t invest enough of their time and attention to the pursuit of holiness.
Here are four concrete steps that each one of us can take:
- Do an examination of conscience about your entertainment choices. In terms of television, movies, and even social media, companies are quick to provide us with content that we want to watch. If our consumption of entertainment is filled with negativity, it is our fault. There are many ways that we can tell social media and entertainment providers the kinds of things we want to view, things that build us up and fill our minds with light.
- Build in Virtuous Activities such as hikes, walks, and exercise. Instead of filling your time with passive consumption, try to integrate wholesome activities that connect you with nature and friends.
- Dedicate time to studying the faith. Read the Catechism. Read the Bible. Connect with talks and other forms of faith-centered content.
- Dedicate time to reflecting/ meditation… simply put, give yourself time to think, explore, connect with your experience, and process.
Give these a try.