With Full Attention

Give full attention and devotion to each act.

Marcus Aurelius

The Workday Begins

I have three monitors, five windows open, and no fewer than ten tabs open. Music is playing. I’m walking on a standing treadmill. My wife and kids are texting me. Slack is…Slack. I will not touch email until noon.

Phone calls punctuate the workdays. I’ve come to love phone calls. I leave the home office. I stroll in the yard, focused on the person on the other end of the line.

Midday Workout

I want to live forever, so I break for the gym. I’m listening to a podcast, while running on the treadmill, while answering Slack messages, while flicking through my news feeds. My heart rate matches the rock concert in my head.


I’m cooking dinner. I have another podcast going. I’m answering texts. My children are telling me about their day. My wife is asking questions about my day. I am mentally prewriting a long email to my colleague. We sit at the dinner table and everyone has their phones out. We are there but not there. We are there for brief minutes and then scatter to the dopamine rush of new neon signs.


I am tired. My mind loops through the day. I meditate – or try to – with a dog on my lap. I trip over the words of Marcus Aurelius. We are not a world of full attention and devotion. But I will try better.

Delve within; within is the fountain of good, and it is always ready to bubble up, if you always delve.

Marcus Aurelius

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