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Discussion #25 - Attention

Everyone craves it, some more than others. Positive, negative, any way we can get it. A good example of this was the recent MTV VMA awards show, featuring a performance by Miley Cyrus. She was being talked about all over the world (#1 topic of conversation at that time in America). Her "people" obviously staged it for exactly this reason, & it's blatently obvious she was shooting for a Madonna-like adult career. Nevertheless, it was still quite shocking to see her "doing it doggie-style" (with her clothes on) on world-wide prime-time television! The shock-effect was greatly amplified by the contrast between her former Disney image, & this new one. Sex sells (big-time) in our modern culture, & (almost) any attention is good attention in show business.

Many are secretly (or not so secretly) envious of this kind of "over-the-top" attention. In normal doses, it's one of the basic human needs, & the media/entertainment industry is just capitalizing on it. Regular people who seek it excessively, are judged rather harshly by society. Unless it's their business, then they're just envied. It's a big part of the human condition to want lots of attention, & be extremely jealous if others around them are getting more of it. Have you ever noticed how cranky & irate people can get, if they're not getting their fair share of "air time" in a conversation? If this is something you notice happening a lot in your life, try talking a little less, & listening a little more. (For some, it's quite difficult to do, as talking is generally a lot more fun).

It can get pretty intense, & this applies equally to men & women. The human ego is a powerful force, & one that should never be taken lightly. This force permeates every aspect of our lives (whenever there are people around). Politics, religion, business, competition, work, play, marriages, raising children, extended families, etc. The basic human need/desire for respect & attention is universal across the globe. In our personal lives, seeking it is healthy in moderation. In the show business world, there is no such thing as too much, as it'll just generate more money.

Companies like Mercedes, Apple, The Gap, Starbucks, Rolex, Gucci, and the list goes on and on, are all cashing in on our quest for perceived significance. We as individuals are not just looking for attention, we're looking for a certain kind of attention. The quest for prestige has been a very big deal to a lot of people for a very long time, and it always will be. Even though we're all biological creatures with a very limited and fragile lifespan, this aspect of life will never change.

The reality of human equality and our perception of varying degrees of significance are completely contradictory, and as a result, many people really struggle to get a handle on this. The best example would be the worldwide cultural obsession with celebrity. It's absolutely incredible the pedestals we put these people on. What most don't realize, is that the lifestyle of a celebrity is becoming so extreme and unprivate, that most of them actually envy us, specifically our anonymity. The proof is in the pudding, think about how happy huge stars like Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, Robin Williams, Michael Jackson, etc. were.

We as a species love to put certain people on huge pedestals. This list also includes members of the royal families, professional athletes, political & religious leaders, wealthy individuals, etc. Just about anything that indiciates a person has an elevated level of perceived significance, and on the pedestal they go. There is only one big problem with this reality in our world. The galaxy that we reside in (the Milky Way), is approx. 13.2 billion years old. The planet we live on is approx. 4.5 billion, and the universe (which contains many galaxies) approx. 13.8 billion. Relative to this, our mortal lifespans are really just the blink of an eye. The pedestals that we put these people on are just our feeble attempt at making our physical existence seem extremely significant in the universe.

Make no mistake; in a spiritual sense we are, as most agree and believe that our soul lives on eternally. Our spiritual lifespan will make the planet's seem like the blink of an eye, as Earth will likely be absorbed by the sun within 7.5 billion years or so. It's our physical existence that's extremely temporary, and temporary for all of us. No amount of money, fame, or social status will ever make the slightest difference to this reality. There are undoubtedly some who believe that money will some day buy them a much longer healthy lifespan, but so far this is more of a myth than a reality. This may be the biggest reason why so many keep their noses to the grindstone in life, and are often quite petrified of looking up at the bigger picture.

Another great example of attention-seeking behavior would be all of the recent nuclear nonsense between Kim and Trump. I'm not trying to make light of a very serious situation (possibly our own species' self-extinction), but what these two leaders were really after was mainly global attention and respect. It seemed like a pretty dangerous way to get it to me. Often, it seemed like Donald was deliberately making really bad decisions, just to get the extra attention from the controversy it created. Good examples of this would be his decision to seperate migrant/refugee parents from their children at the border, or his decision to allow the online info required to make 3d printable guns to be made available to the entire world.

Then there was his famous decision to fire up his base, and get them to storm the capitol. His attempts to destroy democracy, have largely been for the attention. He obviously wanted (and still wants) far more time in the spotlight. The neverending media attention that he got for those 4+ years, is something he desperately wants to continue, and thus his reluctance to step aside when he lost the election fair & square.

To most (around the world), this makes him look like a pretty big monster, but it just proves how much of an obsession the thirst for extreme attention can be in some people. Think about his favourite thing to do as president, holding those rallies. This form of attention feeds the ego like no other.

I can honestly say (to a much smaller degree), I know exactly how this feels. Personally, as a musician, I've experienced performing in front of audiences as big as 3 or 4,000 (and a couple of TV shows). I'm sure there are many people out there who have also experienced similar things. Not just entertainers, but having to give a speech at a wedding, funeral, or graduation ceremony, or be interviewed on camera by a local news network. It's definitely a thrill (and definitely feeds the ego). I couldn't even imagine what it would be like, to be live in front of 30 or 40,000 screaming fans. What a rush it would be!

Point being, most of us really love attention. It's very addictive, like an amazing natural drug. You almost WANT to be a bit nervous after a while, as it just adds to the excitement. The nervousness tends to fade as you get used to it (if you do it often enough). But in the beginning, it really adds a lot of extra adrenaline to the performances!

There actually is quite a lot of natural drug production going on by our endocrine system in these situations, and this often serves to enhance the addictive nature of extreme attention events. Even (and often just as much) for those participating in the live audience. There is a good reason why most people really love live entertainment. Everyone is witnessing (up close & in person), just how much courage and confidence it takes to walk out on that stage.

Two far more common methods that some people use to achieve extra-large doses of attention in life, would be weddings and divorce. Obviously there are many far more legitimate reasons for both, but this is also definitely a big one. Think about the amount of money & time that is commonly spent on modern weddings in the more affluent countries. It can be shocking. Then there is the insanely high divorce rates in those same countries. Even those who toy with the idea of getting divorced, generate a vast amount of extra attention from the buzz, drama, and gossip that this creates in their social circles.

Even large parties or large social get-togethers can feed the need for a jolt of extreme attention now & then. Then, of course, you have your writers, bloggers, YouTubers, social media experts, etc., etc. Just because the efforts of say an actor, musician, writer, producer, director, or whatever, are being recorded and enjoyed in more of an ongoing fashion, does not take anything away from the excitement and thrill of it. The major difference being, normally far less nervousness than a live situation, as you never have to get it right the first time. You can always do as many takes, edits, and rewrites as time & budget allow.

Another common example of the insatiable thirst for attention many of us have, is obvious in organizations such as charities, clubs, & religious groups. The volunteer positions which are always the most difficult to fill, are virtually always the ones more behind the scenes. The more high profile & out front, the less difficult they are to fill.

Unfortunately, with paid careers, the same principle also applies. The rule of thumb is, the more attention a career rewards, the more career competition one will face. This would also likely be the understatement of the century. The odds of making a decent living in any of the extreme-attention careers, are about the same as winning the lottery, or getting struck (and killed) by lightning. We should all pursue our dreams, but probably best to have a really good back-up plan, just in case.

Dreams are amazing, they feed & excite our soul, and hey, you never know. Lightning does sometimes strike, and a few people do win the lottery! The thing is though, is that it's very wise to keep in the back of your mind, there are a TON of people out there with the very same (or similar) dreams, and generally for the same reasons. Should we stop chasing them? Absolutely not, but keeping a realistic outlook on things puts everything into better perspective. In the careers of show business, pro sports, & politics especially, the career competition (above the local levels), is literally crushing. Mainly because of how much attention & prestige people are getting from them.

On the other hand however, there is a lot of money being made in these industries, and you may be just fine with the sea of competition, since the pots of gold at the end of these rainbows are indeed very real. Keeping things in perspective will make you less likely to become discouraged, even with some failures along the way.

Also, everyone knows that talent is not the only reason why people do or do not succeed in these types of careers. There's a lot of luck, & being in the right place at the right time, or coming in contact with the right people. We've all heard the phrase, it's not just what you know, but who you know. While this is true for a lot of careers, it's especially true in the entertainment industry and politics.

The other important reality to keep in mind, is that often those around you will be extremely skeptical about your chances of succeeding in these sorts of areas, until or unless you actually do. This is simply human nature. A bit dark & overly competitive perhaps, but very true nonetheless. There are numerous historical instances of proof to this phenomenon, so very wise to keep this in the back of your mind as well. It'll also help to keep you from becoming discouraged, and possibly giving up as a result. A big part of the human ego, is when others will try and keep you "in your place" in their mind. It's our job (if we care), to prove them wrong.

On a far darker note, the only real motive that experts have decided was active in the mind of the Vegas "hotel window country concert massacre shooter", was indeed a thirst for an extreme dose of attention. He had literally shopped around for a music festival when planning this, and was basically jealous of the kind of attention famous musicians get. He wanted some of it for himself. He wasn't satisfied with being a multi-millionaire, and a career gambler. This sick bastard was likely an extreme stimulation junkie as well. It seems there are some in this life who will do just about anything for a bit of fame. This is likely the main motive in most mass shootings, along with most acts of terrorism as well.

The bigger picture on this aspect of human life, is that we all have a thirst for attention. It can motivate us to achieve great things, or it can do the opposite. How we choose to channel our hunger for it, is one of the biggest determining factors of our character. The entertainment that we all enjoy in life, has got to come from the efforts of other human beings, that's just the way it works. These entertainers are going to get a lot more attention than the average citizen. It's also an excellent motivator for all of us to succeed in life. Instead of being jealous of others, let's just enjoy the healthy attention that we actually do get.
Discussion #25 - Attention

Everyone craves it, some more than others. Positive, negative, any way we can get it. A good example of this was the recent MTV VMA awards show, featuring a performance by Miley Cyrus. She was being talked about all over the world (#1 topic of conversation at that time in America). Her "people" obviously staged it for exactly this reason, & it's blatently obvious she was shooting for a Madonna-like adult career. Nevertheless, it was still quite shocking to see her "doing it doggie-style" (with her clothes on) on world-wide prime-time television! The shock-effect was greatly amplified by the contrast between her former Disney image, & this new one. Sex sells (big-time) in our modern culture, & (almost) any attention is good attention in show business.

Many are secretly (or not so secretly) envious of this kind of "over-the-top" attention. In normal doses, it's one of the basic human needs, & the media/entertainment industry is just capitalizing on it. Regular people who seek it excessively, are judged rather harshly by society. Unless it's their business, then they're just envied. It's a big part of the human condition to want lots of attention, & be extremely jealous if others around them are getting more of it. Have you ever noticed how cranky & irate people can get, if they're not getting their fair share of "air time" in a conversation? If this is something you notice happening a lot in your life, try talking a little less, & listening a little more. (For some, it's quite difficult to do, as talking is generally a lot more fun).

It can get pretty intense, & this applies equally to men & women. The human ego is a powerful force, & one that should never be taken lightly. This force permeates every aspect of our lives (whenever there are people around). Politics, religion, business, competition, work, play, marriages, raising children, extended families, etc. The basic human need/desire for respect & attention is universal across the globe. In our personal lives, seeking it is healthy in moderation. In the show business world, there is no such thing as too much, as it'll just generate more money.

Companies like Mercedes, Apple, The Gap, Starbucks, Rolex, Gucci, and the list goes on and on, are all cashing in on our quest for perceived significance. We as individuals are not just looking for attention, we're looking for a certain kind of attention. The quest for prestige has been a very big deal to a lot of people for a very long time, and it always will be. Even though we're all biological creatures with a very limited and fragile lifespan, this aspect of life will never change.

The reality of human equality and our perception of varying degrees of significance are completely contradictory, and as a result, many people really struggle to get a handle on this. The best example would be the worldwide cultural obsession with celebrity. It's absolutely incredible the pedestals we put these people on. What most don't realize, is that the lifestyle of a celebrity is becoming so extreme and unprivate, that most of them actually envy us, specifically our anonymity. The proof is in the pudding, think about how happy huge stars like Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, Robin Williams, Michael Jackson, etc. were.

We as a species love to put certain people on huge pedestals. This list also includes members of the royal families, professional athletes, political & religious leaders, wealthy individuals, etc. Just about anything that indiciates a person has an elevated level of perceived significance, and on the pedestal they go. There is only one big problem with this reality in our world. The galaxy that we reside in (the Milky Way), is approx. 13.2 billion years old. The planet we live on is approx. 4.5 billion, and the universe (which contains many galaxies) approx. 13.8 billion. Relative to this, our mortal lifespans are really just the blink of an eye. The pedestals that we put these people on are just our feeble attempt at making our physical existence seem extremely significant in the universe.

Make no mistake; in a spiritual sense we are, as most agree and believe that our soul lives on eternally. Our spiritual lifespan will make the planet's seem like the blink of an eye, as Earth will likely be absorbed by the sun within 7.5 billion years or so. It's our physical existence that's extremely temporary, and temporary for all of us. No amount of money, fame, or social status will ever make the slightest difference to this reality. There are undoubtedly some who believe that money will some day buy them a much longer healthy lifespan, but so far this is more of a myth than a reality. This may be the biggest reason why so many keep their noses to the grindstone in life, and are often quite petrified of looking up at the bigger picture.

Another great example of attention-seeking behavior would be all of the recent nuclear nonsense between Kim and Trump. I'm not trying to make light of a very serious situation (possibly our own species' self-extinction), but what these two leaders were really after was mainly global attention and respect. It seemed like a pretty dangerous way to get it to me. Often, it seemed like Donald was deliberately making really bad decisions, just to get the extra attention from the controversy it created. Good examples of this would be his decision to seperate migrant/refugee parents from their children at the border, or his decision to allow the online info required to make 3d printable guns to be made available to the entire world.

Then there was his famous decision to fire up his base, and get them to storm the capitol. His attempts to destroy democracy, have largely been for the attention. He obviously wanted (and still wants) far more time in the spotlight. The neverending media attention that he got for those 4+ years, is something he desperately wants to continue, and thus his reluctance to step aside when he lost the election fair & square.

To most (around the world), this makes him look like a pretty big monster, but it just proves how much of an obsession the thirst for extreme attention can be in some people. Think about his favourite thing to do as president, holding those rallies. This form of attention feeds the ego like no other.

I can honestly say (to a much smaller degree), I know exactly how this feels. Personally, as a musician, I've experienced performing in front of audiences as big as 3 or 4,000 (and a couple of TV shows). I'm sure there are many people out there who have also experienced similar things. Not just entertainers, but having to give a speech at a wedding, funeral, or graduation ceremony, or be interviewed on camera by a local news network. It's definitely a thrill (and definitely feeds the ego). I couldn't even imagine what it would be like, to be live in front of 30 or 40,000 screaming fans. What a rush it would be!

Point being, most of us really love attention. It's very addictive, like an amazing natural drug. You almost WANT to be a bit nervous after a while, as it just adds to the excitement. The nervousness tends to fade as you get used to it (if you do it often enough). But in the beginning, it really adds a lot of extra adrenaline to the performances!

There actually is quite a lot of natural drug production going on by our endocrine system in these situations, and this often serves to enhance the addictive nature of extreme attention events. Even (and often just as much) for those participating in the live audience. There is a good reason why most people really love live entertainment. Everyone is witnessing (up close & in person), just how much courage and confidence it takes to walk out on that stage.

Two far more common methods that some people use to achieve extra-large doses of attention in life, would be weddings and divorce. Obviously there are many far more legitimate reasons for both, but this is also definitely a big one. Think about the amount of money & time that is commonly spent on modern weddings in the more affluent countries. It can be shocking. Then there is the insanely high divorce rates in those same countries. Even those who toy with the idea of getting divorced, generate a vast amount of extra attention from the buzz, drama, and gossip that this creates in their social circles.

Even large parties or large social get-togethers can feed the need for a jolt of extreme attention now & then. Then, of course, you have your writers, bloggers, YouTubers, social media experts, etc., etc. Just because the efforts of say an actor, musician, writer, producer, director, or whatever, are being recorded and enjoyed in more of an ongoing fashion, does not take anything away from the excitement and thrill of it. The major difference being, normally far less nervousness than a live situation, as you never have to get it right the first time. You can always do as many takes, edits, and rewrites as time & budget allow.

Another common example of the insatiable thirst for attention many of us have, is obvious in organizations such as charities, clubs, & religious groups. The volunteer positions which are always the most difficult to fill, are virtually always the ones more behind the scenes. The more high profile & out front, the less difficult they are to fill.

Unfortunately, with paid careers, the same principle also applies. The rule of thumb is, the more attention a career rewards, the more career competition one will face. This would also likely be the understatement of the century. The odds of making a decent living in any of the extreme-attention careers, are about the same as winning the lottery, or getting struck (and killed) by lightning. We should all pursue our dreams, but probably best to have a really good back-up plan, just in case.

Dreams are amazing, they feed & excite our soul, and hey, you never know. Lightning does sometimes strike, and a few people do win the lottery! The thing is though, is that it's very wise to keep in the back of your mind, there are a TON of people out there with the very same (or similar) dreams, and generally for the same reasons. Should we stop chasing them? Absolutely not, but keeping a realistic outlook on things puts everything into better perspective. In the careers of show business, pro sports, & politics especially, the career competition (above the local levels), is literally crushing. Mainly because of how much attention & prestige people are getting from them.

On the other hand however, there is a lot of money being made in these industries, and you may be just fine with the sea of competition, since the pots of gold at the end of these rainbows are indeed very real. Keeping things in perspective will make you less likely to become discouraged, even with some failures along the way.

Also, everyone knows that talent is not the only reason why people do or do not succeed in these types of careers. There's a lot of luck, & being in the right place at the right time, or coming in contact with the right people. We've all heard the phrase, it's not just what you know, but who you know. While this is true for a lot of careers, it's especially true in the entertainment industry and politics.

The other important reality to keep in mind, is that often those around you will be extremely skeptical about your chances of succeeding in these sorts of areas, until or unless you actually do. This is simply human nature. A bit dark & overly competitive perhaps, but very true nonetheless. There are numerous historical instances of proof to this phenomenon, so very wise to keep this in the back of your mind as well. It'll also help to keep you from becoming discouraged, and possibly giving up as a result. A big part of the human ego, is when others will try and keep you "in your place" in their mind. It's our job (if we care), to prove them wrong.

On a far darker note, the only real motive that experts have decided was active in the mind of the Vegas "hotel window country concert massacre shooter", was indeed a thirst for an extreme dose of attention. He had literally shopped around for a music festival when planning this, and was basically jealous of the kind of attention famous musicians get. He wanted some of it for himself. He wasn't satisfied with being a multi-millionaire, and a career gambler. This sick bastard was likely an extreme stimulation junkie as well. It seems there are some in this life who will do just about anything for a bit of fame. This is likely the main motive in most mass shootings, along with most acts of terrorism as well.

The bigger picture on this aspect of human life, is that we all have a thirst for attention. It can motivate us to achieve great things, or it can do the opposite. How we choose to channel our hunger for it, is one of the biggest determining factors of our character. The entertainment that we all enjoy in life, has got to come from the efforts of other human beings, that's just the way it works. These entertainers are going to get a lot more attention than the average citizen. It's also an excellent motivator for all of us to succeed in life. Instead of being jealous of others, let's just enjoy the healthy attention that we actually do get.