Miguel Panao | Professor and Author

Finding ways to improve scientific writing and academic productivity.

Making 2019 the Year of… what?

As we approach the end of 2018, I think about how the world became more digital than I thought.

Think about how influential people like Donald Trump and Elon Musk used Twitter. I wondered about how did we get to this digital frenzy world, and how can we survive it. As I was reading Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way” I found the answer.

“survival lies in sanity, and sanity lies in paying attention.” (Julia Cameron)

It is in paying attention that we’ll find the guidance to avoid being consumed by a digital age which begins to affect our sanity. We created the digital world, but our true self remains in the real world. It is in the real world we live and enjoy living. And I wonder how much is our digital age affecting the quality of life.

“The quality of life is in proportion, always, to the capacity for delight. The capacity for delight is the gift of paying attention.” (Julia Cameron)

We became so attached to the small screens that details in nature no longer attract us. If we spend more than 2 minutes looking at a landscape or a flower, there’s an odd sense of wasting our time.

We gradually lost the capacity for delight because we stopped paying attention.

Photo by Annelie Turner at Unsplash.com

Photo by Annelie Turner at Unsplash.com

The internet is one of the most voracious attention consumers, and we don’t even notice. Often, we even deny it while consuming tons of information.

As the new year approaches and we think about resolutions for 2019, I would suggest we recover the value of paying attention. The reason is simple.

“The reward for attention is always healing.” (Julia Cameron)

Paying attention is an act of connection. Especially, connection with the real world. Not merely people’s presence, but connecting the eyes and hands. Connecting is a healing process, and attention is its driver. It never ceases to amaze me how such a small step for man can be a giant leap to heal mankind.

What if we made 2019: the Year of Attention?

About Miguel Panao

I am a Professor at the University of Coimbra in Mechanical Engineering. I am also author of books in the fields of environmental ethics and Science and Religion. From the several research projects, this site is personal and dedicated to the search for the best approaches, tools, techniques to improve scientific productivity.

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