Do you know how magnetism works, or what it is exactly? Can you explain it to a six-year old?
We take a lot for granted in life. Well, I do. And they are things I can’t begin to explain. For instance, I can’t explain magnetism (or electricity or gravity, for that matter). If you think you know how to explain it, check your definition against this description which is pretty scientific and even describes a history and an origin of magnetism (magnetism has a history?? …an origin?!?). Or maybe you prefer this simpler video designed with that six-year-old in mind. That one’s more my speed.
So, can you fight magnetism? Why would you? Well, to be fair, I’m speaking metaphorically, because while magnetism is one of the fundamental forces of the universe, it’s also defined as an ability to attract or charm. And that’s the one you can fight.
I’m talking about how our interests or devices attract our attention; how they charm us, in the magical sense of having cast a spell on us. From the good to the bad, we are easily distracted, easily absorbed, we easily give our attention away. To take the so-called good, imagine a time when you have been so deep into a project that you lose track of time. It could be building a birdhouse or painting a landscape or reading a book – it doesn’t matter. The point is that you become so focused on what you’re doing that you completely lose track of time. You are magnetized. You are fully in the field of an unseen force that compels your attention, your full, deep, to-the-exclusion-of-all-else attention. That is, until your housemate takes a tumble over the throw rug by the front door and you jump up immediately ready, present and asking what you can do to help.
On the so-called bad side, have you ever tried to get a companion to put their phone down and listen to you? (I was going to say “a teenager,” but let’s be honest – we all do it.) Have you had to turn off the radio when you are close to your destination and you can’t concentrate on what left or right to take? Have you ever lost your train of thought because something in the conversation at the next table caught your ear?
We are all influenced by forces around us. There are some we cannot fight, nor do we want to. But there are others that we can, and should. Awareness is key. Attention is a choice. Enjoy your hobbies, but don’t let your loved ones suffer at that expense. Undivided attention is magnetism at work. However, divided attention isn’t necessarily a good solution.
Be aware of the forces that are charming you. Dive in deeply but disconnect intentionally. Choose wisely.