The greatest gift you can give another is the purity of your attention.
Attention is what creates value. Artworks are made as well by how people interact with them — and therefore by what quality of interaction they can inspire. So how do we assess an artist who we suspect is dreadful but who manages to inspire the right storm of attention, and whose audience seems to swoon in the appropriate way? We say, ‘Well done.’
The question is: ‘Is the act of getting attention a sufficient act for an artist? Or is that in fact the job description?’
Perhaps the art of the future will be indistinguishable.
Music legend Brian Eno
The real heroes anyway aren’t the people doing things; the real heroes are people NOTICING things, paying attention.
It’s weird to feel someone’s attention on you that way, like you’re the only thing in the world they’re listening to. Most of the time people are distracted, or just thinking about what they’re going to say next.
People may not tell you
how they feel about you,
but they always show you.
Londoners treat the underground not as a stage set, a place where we’re on display, but as a neutral space, one in which we don’t overtly direct our attention at each other.
People sneak glances at each other, of course they do, but the operative word is “sneak”. They don’t look openly, in the way they would elsewhere. The main focus of people’s attention is inward. They go into themselves. Or they go into the world of whatever entertainment they’re carrying.
Once upon a time, that would mainly have been a paid-for newspaper – but nothing has disappeared as fast and as completely from the world of the underground as the paid-for newspaper
1. When you say you’re going to do something, do it.
2. Don’t lie, don’t exaggerate, don’t withhold information, don’t mislead.
3. Give people your full attention when you’re with them. Listening well is a hard skill to master – but it’s worth it, and enriches relationships.
4. Walk out of movies, stop reading books, leave parties … Basically, don’t waste your time on things you’re not enjoying. You only live once. Your time is valuable.
5. Do the right thing – even if it costs you. This is the mark of true integrity.
6. Do things other people aren’t doing. Be courageous and adventurous. Don’t be afraid of the unknown.
7. Always be learning. It keeps life – and you – interesting.
8. Do your best to stay out of debt.
The world was there around me, and I realized that seldom had I paid attention to it.
GQ: So do you consider yourself bisexual?
Frank Ocean: You can move to the next question. I’ll respectfully say that life is dynamic and comes along with dynamic experiences, and the same sentiment that I have towards genres of music, I have towards a lot of labels and boxes and shit. I’m in this business to be creative—I’ll even diminish it and say to be a content provider. One of the pieces of content that I’m for fuck sure not giving is porn videos. I’m not a centerfold. I’m not trying to sell you sex. People should pay attention to that in the letter: I didn’t need to label it for it to have impact. Because people realize everything that I say is so relatable, because when you’re talking about romantic love, both sides in all scenarios feel the same shit. As a writer, as a creator, I’m giving you my experiences. But just take what I give you. You ain’t got to pry beyond that. I’m giving you what I feel like you can feel. The other shit, you can’t feel. You can’t feel a box. You can’t feel a label. Don’t get caught up in that shit. There’s so much something in life. Don’t get caught up in the nothing. That shit is nothing, you know? It’s nothing. Vanish the fear.
As I grow older,
I pay less attention
to what men say. I just