Use Absence to increase value.

Extra actionable lessons from the book: “How to do nothing - Resisting the Attention Economy.” By Jenny Odell - Mentorist App


We’ve all had some sort of romantic interest in someone at some point of our lives. For most men, alot of these interests didn’t necessarily materialise because men have to be the pursuers of women (most men struggle with getting women), whereas women are more the selectors of men. I’m not saying women don’t struggle when it comes to getting men, I’m just saying men struggle way more than what the world portrays. That’s all besides the point I am trying to make which is about the dance we as people have to make when it comes to courtship. 

You want to speak to the other person all the time in the beginning but you don’t want to be too needy. You want to give the right amount of attention that indicates you are interested but also not desperate. This is a very crucial skill that must be learnt early on in life. You must be able to learn to make the other person’s imagination wonder about where you are, what you’re doing and if you still care. This is where the power of absence comes into play. We’ve often heard the words “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” These words ring true for romance but they also ring true for real life and this is what I wanted to speak to you about today.

It is very difficult to get away from the responsibilities and the requirements of our lives and as much as we have demanding careers, we also have demanding lives adjacent to all those careers. There is a power in knowing when to be available and when to withdraw without feeling bad about this and being gone for long enough that makes people wonder about what it is you are doing and where you are. What is common loses value and is predictable but what is scarce, increases in value. 


When to leave

The idea adds to Jenny Odells' concept of doing nothing in that you take the time out to care for yourself and to change your approach to doing things. You must know that leaving your group of interests (friends, social media, media etc.) doesn’t cause you to miss out, it only causes you to be a constant slave to them if you don’t have an ability to withdraw. You have to give people the gift of missing you, of not knowing what your movements are but this is more important for you so you can learn to practice gratitude and self care which is extremely important for the kinds of lives we live that are often so demanding on us on a daily basis. Pick your moment, withdraw and in that time refine and improve your approach. 


When to come back

The moment you feel you’ve refined your approach and added some new elements to yourself and taken enough time to do so, you may return to your world to continue doing what you were doing but more in a better way. This means you come back rested, more in control, with a new perspective with a refreshed approach. You also come back knowing you can be more in control of this power in future. 

We must never be made to feel bad for wanting to take time out for ourselves. If we don’t do that we will miss what’s in front of us and we will miss out on all the many beautiful moments of life that can take our breath away. 

The message is that we must all learn to not be sucked into the world that is constantly demanding our attention and we must be able to decide where our attention goes, how much of it we give and most importantly WHEN we give it away (knowing we can withdraw it when we chose to). 


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