I haven’t paid attention to the news since November 8, 2016. My decision was simultaneously a commitment to “walk to the talk” and a conscious choice to tune out anything that diverted my attention away from living the best life I can.
I’m aware that some people may think that I’m sticking my head in the sand and disengaging from the world. I’m okay with their perceptions. Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion, after all, but I look at my decision as a more intimate form of engagement. By choosing not to pay attention to all of the pronouncements of gloom and doom, I’m connecting to the world around me on a micro level rather than at a macro level.
Micro-engagement has significant advantages. Perhaps the biggest advantage is that I’m not distracted by things over which I have no direct control. Another advantage to micro-engagement is that it allows me to exert an indirect form influence that, through its cumulative effect, can have a significant impact on the world at large.
How, you ask? I define micro-engagement as a conscious, deliberate act of focusing your attention on the person with whom you’re interacting. It is a way of demonstrating through your actions that you’re aware of the person in front of you. Micro-engagement has a subtle, yet profound effect on the people who come into our lives. The simple act of conscious, deliberate attention on a fellow human being creates an energetic ripple that, although small, is felt through the Universe at the deepest levels. Those little ripples, combined with millions, even billions of others, are what influence the expansion and evolution of all things.
I should mention that deliberate, conscious engagement with someone – especially people who make you uncomfortable – requires you to step outside of our comfort zone. However, that step doesn’t have to be a big one. It can be as simple as giving someone a smile or standing aside while holding a door open for them (as opposed to going ahead of that person and giving the door an extra shove with barely a glance over your shoulder). A personal favorite is of mine is to look someone in the eyes, give them a smile, and offer a nod of acknowledgement in a wordless statement of, “I see you.”
There are infinite ways we can micro-engage with the world. You don’t have to start a deep conversation with total stranger, although you’re welcome to do that if you feel inspired. The only requirement is that you stay conscious and aware, and that you give yourself permission to do something you normally wouldn’t do. Regardless of how you choose to engage, know that your simple, seemingly small act sparks a chain reaction that has far-reaching effects.
I challenge anyone reading this Reflection to think of creative ways you can micro-engage with the people who cross your path. Do it in a way that is a reflection of you, and learn to have fun with it. I guarantee that you’ll notice a difference in how you feel and how you see the world.
About the Author
Appio Hunter is an author, speaker, spiritual guide, and self-described champion for living joyously. He uses his seminars and workshops to facilitate conversations about authenticity, alignment, and the daily experience of community, connection, and joy. Appio is also a weekly columnist with The Good Men Project and co-host of the Real Men Feel Show along with his good friend Andy Grant.