Tip 2 for Managing Relevance Overload
Pay attention to what you pay attention to. That statement could be a convoluted way to suggest paying super close attention to whatever you are doing. That’s a great idea. However, what it’s really saying is step back and notice what routinely catches your attention. Now, ask yourself, “Why?” Why does that thing reliably hijack your attentional system? Is it useful? Is it getting you what you want? Often this so-called shiny object is an indicator of talent. If you have a talent that you aren’t using enough, you will be drawn to the inspiration and information that can aid in its development. Then the question becomes, is this a talent you can leverage for joy and/or profit?
This distinction is important. You only have the energy and commitment to stay relevant if both the topic and the method nurture and use your personal strengths. Making a contribution and fulfilling your needs are inextricably linked. Neither is sustainable without the other, and you cannot maximize either in isolation.
Shifting to the method of staying current, be sure to use what works best for you. Don’t get seduced by other modalities. If you are an extrovert who is energized by people and community, then go to mixers and networking groups and high-energy multi-day personal transformation events. You will love it, get re-energized, and contribute to the others in attendance. On the other hand, if you do your best work in seclusion, don’t expect the same gain from the more social methods. Find a small, likeminded but diverse group for quiet exploration and discussion. Give yourself plenty of time to absorb and synthesize.
No matter your preference, if you find the idea of making the effort to stay current exhausting or distasteful, it’s a good indication that you are not leveraging your greatest talents or fulfilling your needs. So, don’t bother. Instead, put your energy into finding a use for your talents that energizes you, and you are much more likely to put in the effort to stay relevant.