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Sustained Attention

I was listening to a Tim Ferriss podcast interview of Ken Burns during a long drive to New York This morning, and pulled out some gems. I strongly recommend this interview if you’re a creative type, history buff or, well, human. Two quotes in particular jumped out at me:

“All real meaning accrue[s] in duration… that the work we’re proudest of… that the relationships you care the most about have benefited from sustained attention.” – Ken Burns

Great work takes sustained effort. Being in it for the long haul matters. Creating meaningful long form content in a sound bite world matters. So do the work that matters the most and grow your audience both organically and incrementally. Nothing meaningful is created easily.

Wake the dead.” – Ken Burns (quoting words his father-in-law said to him)

This phrase jolted me, as I think I’m doing that on s much (much) smaller scale than Burns. Stories bring the dead back to life, and gives the writer a bit of immortality too (paraphrasing Burns again there). In highlighting the lives of others we’re also highlighting something of ourselves.

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    1. Different context for the phrase from the traditional meaning. Listen to the podcast it fleshes it out more

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