I got in late this morning as is my once-a-week Thursday habit. It's been my habit since 1995 when I started seeing my current therapist. That's right, I've been seeing him once-a-week for 18 years.
Also once-a-week for 18 years I've left his office on 87th between Madison and Fifth and walked the half-mile across the park to the C train, which has a stop at 86th and Central Park West.
My walk began as a bit of self-discipline. I wanted to get the full-effect of my therapy and not leave my doctor's office and be swept up immediately with the woes and travails of the day. So I walk--without headphones, without checking my mail, without answering the phone or speaking to anyone.
In all, I get a complete hour a week where I'm focused on no one but me.
So much of our world--at work and elsewhere--is filled with noise. The noise that comes from insecurity, nervousness, fear, mendacity and bombast. Very often that noise is impossible to filter and block out. So, we get swept up in it and get distracted and/or hurt by it.
Over the years I've seen very few people who can stay impervious to noise. Very few people who can rise above it. Very few people who are measured. Who aren't heavily swayed by the last thing they read or the last person they spoke to.
In other, very few people who can actually focus.
Most people are hearing too much noise.