Nick Ang profile picture

Nick Ang

Face a new direction

When I’m in a room and I stop to think about that fact, I realise that I’m really in a box. These four walls, they envelop me. When I zoom out and think about the corridor leading to my apartment door and the lift around the corner, I realise the whole building is just a bigger box. A bigger box containing smaller boxes with elongated boxes that provide passage.

Thinking this way inevitably gets me feeling a little claustrophobic, but not enough to bother me. Anyway, with this mental model loaded in my mind, I realise that my experience at any point inside a building (which, nowadays, is how I spend 95 percent of my time) is hugely dependent on where I am sitting and which direction I am facing.

I share my living quarters with my wife and dog. On weekends I talk to myself on these pages. Typing on a laptop looks like a quiet activity, but my mind is always racing as neurons connect in my brain and make contact with my heart. A lot goes on when someone writes that others are not able to see. Those connections are fragile and disappear into the ether when I get distracted. I share my living quarters with my wife and dog, so there are many distractions.

If I sat on my couch facing the centre of the living room, my wife would be 45 degrees to my left within my field of vision. Her every movement presents a distraction through my peripheral vision. Her every unintentionally heavier-than-normal exhale has the potential to break me unhappily out of my trance. Today was such a day. I felt annoyed, so I adjusted myself to lean my back against the left armrest of the couch. Now I am facing away from her towards the window, overlooking the snow dancing outside, and I feel wholly different. I can focus again. I even feel inspired as I see the world outside the box.

If something in the room is distracting you, or you’re just not able to focus, try sitting in the same spot but turning 90 degrees to face a new direction. That could be enough change for you to re-establish focus again.

Nick Ang profile picture
Husband, dad, and software engineer that writes. Big on learning something everyday and trying to have fun before the lights go out.
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