The pace of information, stimulation and distraction is not slowing down, says Brad Stulberg in his “Growth Equation” blog. People feel pushed and pulled around by life, never really here, never really there, always kind of everywhere. This is not a recipe for peak performance, success, meaning, fulfillment or any of the other qualities we desire.

One reason the frantic and frenetic nature of heroic individualism (an ongoing game of oneupmanship where measurable achievement is the main arbiter of success and the goalpost is always 10 yards down the field) is so problematic — and a reason that is rarely discussed — is the alienation it causes people to experience from their own lives.

Alienation from oneself is associated with a whole manner of negative consequences, including exhaustion, apathy, languishing, burnout and even depression. Alienation is also a hindrance to getting into a state of flow. In other words, the more you are never really here, never really there, always kind of everywhere, the worse you can expect to feel … and do.

Meanwhile, the more intimacy and focus you have in your life, the better. We make the choice to live in the present when we put the phone in the other room, disconnect the internet, turn off the television, and so on. The same mindset applies not only to digital distraction, but to all distractions.

Where wrongness comes in is when we aren’t aware, let alone deliberate, about how we spend our hours, minutes and days.

The key to flourishing in the future will be an ability to select what matters and makes your life meaningful, and then, to the extent possible, to design your life (and erect the necessary boundaries) to be able to get really close with those things for extended periods of time.