Scrolling through my Twitter feed the other day, I noticed a post regarding “guard your attention.” The post stated that television screens are beginning to appear in elevators showing the latest news worldwide. It went on to say that it was mostly bad news being offered and that if we don’t guard our attention, we can become consumed by the negativity surrounding everything of such nature.

As I thought about that and what all went along with it, I wondered how much of what I do “gets” my attention. Like all those bad snacks I enjoy, especially late at night, what I put into my stomach is as unhealthy as what I put into my mind and, ultimately, my heart. When my mind and heart get distracted, it can threaten everything and everyone around me. The world and society are ready to tear us down.


For me, guarding my attention is not giving in to wanting to shift focus. How do you do that? Well, it continues to be a work in progress. That’s why we guard. The first line of defense is just a matter of saying NO, not going there.

Our attention is a limited resource, per se, especially in leadership. We only have so much we can pay attention to. But we continue to give it away to trivial matters that bear no fruit for our lives. Often I think about guarding our attention like managing money. When I allocate my attention, what kind of return do I get? Is it something that will profit me or something that could cause financial hardships or ruin? I like having money in my pocket, so I must make certain my attention is on what can strengthen my account.

Do we even realize how much is out there; the voices, the visuals, the… it can wear you out, and it does. It’s like silly putty and the stretch man toy; pulled in all directions and gets bent out of shape. If we do not guard our attention, it will be a hostile takeover of our minds. Let’s do what we need to set the boundary and draw the line in the sand that guards our attention and tells everyone and everything, “You shall not pass” (think Gandalf in LOTR).

Let’s go fight the good fight of leadership. Someone has to…

Go be a great educator and leader today… Our future needs it…

Remember… Think Leadership and Be For Others…

©2023 J Clay Norton

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