This Is the World’s Most Valuable Resource (Hint: It’s Not Time or Data)

The greatest resource and skill on the planet is at your disposal.

What if you personally possessed the most valuable resource on Earth?

How would you wield such a prized resource? Would you consume, hoard, or share it?

You would probably want to protect it at all costs, considering it’s the world's most valuable resource.

You do possess this mighty resource. In fact, you’re expending it right now reading this article.

The world’s most valuable resource is...


Facebook is in the attention-grabbing business and they have a current market cap of $630 billion. That is more than the market cap of the two biggest oil companies in the United States, Chevron and Exxon Mobile, combined. 

Extracting oil and natural gas is big business, but extracting attention from humans is even a bigger business. Attention is the new oil in today’s economy.

If attention is the most coveted resource, then someone who controls this resource would maintain great wealth and power.

What does a wise person with access to the world’s greatest resource do? Barter. They don’t carelessly give away the resource. They trade it for other valuable items.

Similarly, protect your attention resource and only trade it for things of equal or greater value.

    • Give your attention to a coworker. Gain trust.
    • Give your attention to a stranger. Gain empathy.
    • Give your attention to a task. Gain progress.
    • Give your attention to work. Gain experience.
    • Give your attention to a customer. Gain loyalty.
    • Give your attention to learning. Gain knowledge.
    • Give your attention to your breath. Gain composure.

Be cautious trading your attention for endless scrolling and sophisticated algorithms. While sometimes this results in amusement, discovery, and learning, more often it results in sunk time and lower self-esteem.

If attention is today's most valuable resource, then focus is one of the most valuable skills. In an instantaneous and ever-changing world, the ability to direct and maintain one’s attention is a superpower. Those with focus might be the most valuable workers of the future for they can learn anything they center their attention on.

Ryan Jenkins, CSP® (Certified Speaking Professional)™, is an internationally-recognized keynote speaker, virtual trainer, and author of Connectable: How Leaders Can Move Teams From Isolated to All-In. For a decade, he has helped organizations lessen worker loneliness, create inclusive cultures, and prepare for the future of work. He is also co-founder of, the premier resource for addressing workplace loneliness. Follow his latest insights at @RyanAndSteven.

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