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  • Writer's pictureMichael Cocce

You get what you focus on - ignoring vs connecting

The number of entrepreneurs feeling continuously stressed, lonely, and anxious is rising dynamically at the same time that technology allows them to stay connected with the external environment much easier and faster than ever before.

You can recognize external and internal environmental factors having the largest impact on your entrepreneurial life. Thanks to modern technology, it seems like you might be strongly connected to external environmental factors than ever before. The market you operate in and your relationships are primarily external factors. Your internal environment is represented by the key areas of your life that you are in control of.

The opposite concept of connecting is ignoring, and both play a major role in how you will be able to respond to environmental factors, both those that you are in control of and those you are not. However, being connected with your true self starts to become difficult when the connectedness with the outside world might dominate over your daily life while ignoring turns to be just a coping strategy to handle difficulties.

I realized that I have been using this coping strategy to handle the constant state of stress. I became aware that this idea is continuously present in most of the life aspects of a modern entrepreneur on an everyday basis.

Living in the remote group of islands far in the arctic brought my understanding of connectedness to another dimension. Being privileged to live in such an amazing and highly changeable place, I use this opportunity to leverage and grow my understanding about the entrepreneurial reality. This is why I always turn to mother nature to see how things work. Being curious enough, I tend to observe the connectedness in the nature around me and compare it to the connectedness in business.

Perspective on Connecting

How are you connected?

It’s no wonder that nowadays, in most cases we consider connecting on a communication level with the world around us. Understanding connecting in terms of communication starts to be the only understanding in the global, modern world. Just have a look at how the word “connect” is used in advertising campaigns, vision statements or slogans:

«Connect with friends and the world around you on Facebook»

«Nokia - We create technology to connect the world»

Understanding global connectedness through technology only is just the tip of the iceberg. However, it seems like quite a large group of entrepreneurs remains at this level and never dares to look at what is below the surface. Living in the world with push notifications gives little to no room for connecting with yourself if you are not leaving space to gain enough awareness about it.

Connecting Outwards

The development of technology went much faster than it could have ever been expected to not so long ago. It has also turned the world upside down in the last decade. Now there are so many exciting opportunities to connect with each other. Science is supporting this development with exponential growth and the amount of smart solutions is also growing faster than any entrepreneur can possibly learn them all.

Having high-speed internet available in a continuously wider geographical ranges in the world and a rise in the number of devices makes it much easier to stay interconnected throughout your areas of life. It seems like, in the modern entrepreneurial reality, you might stay connected 24/7, 365 days of the year if you choose to.

What is it that people often do the first thing in the morning and the last thing before they fall asleep?

It’s not far from the truth to say that checking smartphones and especially social media accounts is the thing done in the morning for quite many people. And even considering developing countries, having smartphones and access to the internet has boomed despite the challenges in basic needs.

Isn’t it amazing that every third person on the planet doesn’t have access to clean drinking water and, at the same time, has access to a smartphone with internet? This simple and very general comparison only shows how the definition of connectedness has changed in the pace of the development of modern civilization.

Staying connected with a near social circle might not be very different from connecting with the big world. Just have a look at teenagers and their way of staying connected with each other and how fast it is changing over time.

Considering this perspective, many entrepreneurs believe that they are highly connected to other people and the world around them.

Connecting inwards

At the same time, there is a growing number of entrepreneurs in the world becoming aware of the importance of being connected to their true self before they can connect with the world around them. Simple and powerful truth, which has been known throughout the centuries, seems to often be «rediscovered» by those who left a little bit of space in their busy lives to download that new meditation app or grab a best-selling self-help Amazon book.

There is no doubt that connecting inwards requires much more awareness and effort, like working on self-development. There are four key areas of your life: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual that support connectedness with your true self. The challenge with connecting to your true self often might appear when those four key areas are not well harmonized with each other and when the vision for your life is vague, unclear or even missing.

Modern entrepreneurs tend to be focused on the key areas of life that are more easily available for the conscious mind, like financial aspects. This is what most people are occupied with on a daily basis. However, it requires more effort and energy to develop harmony in all key areas of life simultaneously.


Living in the remote group of islands, I have personally experienced all types of connectedness. Arctic nature is a great platform for trying different ways of connecting in this environment. Connecting to the external macroenvironment, the big world, happens almost entirely through technology, like internett. Connecting with the external microenvironment often means getting out of your comfort zone and exposing yourself to the ever-changing arctic weather. Then, finally, connecting with your internal environment, yourself, often means to first ignore everything else to make enough space for the inner journey.

According to science discoveries of quantum physics, everything that appears solid is in fact energy vibrating in different frequencies. Not to mention that energy is changing its form all the time, and it is always present. If everything that already exists is also connected, then everything must also be connected to you.

Perspective on Ignoring

So, what happens if you start to ignore? If you do not put enough attention into how you manage ignoring as your tool, there is a risk of being disconnected from yourself, your internal environment. Ignoring one thing often leads to putting more attention into another thing. It is like narrowing the focus. It might be both positive and negative, depending on the desired outcome.

The threat of ignoring without consciousness is using it as a distraction from something really important. Getting very much involved in one thing might be, at the same time, an indication of turning away from another thing that really needs your attention yet might be difficult or uncomfortable to face.

Ignoring without consciousness typically looks like this: you have an issue that is consuming you from inside, but unconsciously, you choose to ignore it. Your subconscious mind, however, doesn’t let you off the hook, so it uses the messenger, your body, to remind you about your issue. You start to live in a state of tension and the stress symptoms start to appear. Now you are aware of the symptoms, but you focus on coping with them and unconsciously choose to ignore what causes them.

On the other hand, ignoring is an opportunity to be used as a powerful tool to gain focus on the important aspects. The responsibility and the ownership of deciding what to focus on is the foundation of using ignoring as a leverage for the desired outcome. In other words, ignoring unimportant aspects might work like connecting with important ones.

It seems that the more entrepreneurs are connected to the external environment, the less they are connected to the internal environment.

At the same time, the more entrepreneurs are ignoring the external environment the better they are connected to the internal environment.

The above variations lead to the following equation: «The more we ignore, the better we are connected.» The point is to consciously choose what to ignore and what to focus on and keep it harmonized to optimize the results.

Coaching Application

Our focus in coaching application will be to bring your awareness to ignoring and connecting in order to create understanding of how you are using those strategies and how you can progress from the fixed current perspective to a new one that serves you better.

Whether it is ignoring or connecting that you are more aware of, it all depends on your current perspective on your painful problem. Our goal will be to create awareness so you will be able to choose what to focus on. Timeframes play an important role as well and it would be beneficial to explore whether the focus on the particular perspective is fragmented or continuous. To accomplish that, I will help you develop your personalized strategy, your unique Creative Structure so you can consciously choose the what to ignore and what to focus on.


Natural phenomena such as the Midnight Sun or Polar Night in the arctic challenge the definition and understanding of the difference between night and day. Nothing is obvious, and perspectives are everchanging. You might never think that it is possible to enjoy the sun shining in the middle of the night or to walk in the complete darkness in the middle of the day. Yet, this is the reality I’m experiencing on an everyday basis. It might not seem real or even possible until you actually experience it.

The same happens when questioning the understanding of ignoring vs connecting; it helps to choose the perspective that best serves your purpose. Both ignoring and connecting, if used wisely, might bring you closer to becoming united with yourself and the world around you. It is entirely up to you to choose how and what are you going to focus on to achieve that.

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