Dear Why Team member,
I hope this week’s message finds you well, noticing and observing.
Consider this exercise: keep a time dated activity log for one full day of your life and see if it doesn’t surprise you how dynamic your day can be, how many hats you wear and with how many personalities you connect.
Record: “Woke Up” and the time, “Brushed teeth, showered” and the time. Account for every action throughout an entire day - just one day. This is also very helpful regarding one’s diet, just write down everything you eat.
To notice and observe how we are living our lives; what is fueling our mind and body. Can you imagine how much time in a single day is spent on a smart phone by a teenager? How about the amount of time you spend on your phone? I’ve had to delete Tik Toc twice “noticing” how much of my time was being consumed on that one app alone. Because of my tech use, I noticed a decline in my reading and have since reasserted myself in that valuable activity; reading actual books to get away from technology. Print on paper is a favorite of mine, engaging my own mental creativity regarding the characters and environments unfolding in the story rather than on a screen - where the creativity is done by someone else.
Consider all that you consume; not just food for your physical body, but more importantly the mental food you are feeding your brain. Is it healthy?
Is it making you a better person? Notice and observe your emotional moods. Consider recording your feelings alongside the activities.
Are you feeding well on what you are consuming via your smart phone?
Or have you, yourself, been consumed by the dings and pings that steal your valuable attention?
Is your smart phone making you smarter and more independent or dumber and more dependent?
Joseph Coughlin, director at MIT AgeLab found in his research that people, independent of age, who watch less news have less anxiety. Does that surprise anyone?
Notice and observe how much news is negative. Less is likely more when it comes to our News feed.
We are most fulfilled when authentically connected to other humans - no doubt the quarantine has contributed to separating us all the more physically and made us all the more technically dependent - what steps are you taking proactively to regularly take a break from the tech? I’ve noticed my sleep has improved greatly when I replaced YouTube viewing with an actual book to read in the final moments before sleep.
I recently watched a documentary on Netflix called “the Social Dilemma”; it’s an important movie to watch - to learn how advanced computer systems function and how they exploit our human weaknesses. Isn’t that what Vegas does: exploit human weakness? At least when it comes to Vegas, we can go, visit, and then return to our lives. What’s to become of us with a slot machine in our hand every day? Pulling the lever, over and over again, praying three strawberries will pop up in a row? I think we are starting to see what is to become of us and it is incumbent upon us to notice, observe, and take positive action; for ourselves and others - to be a positive example for others to follow.
I am soon to finish the most powerful book I have consumed in a while - that answers so many of the questions related to technology and our country today. I cannot recommend the book enough.
While the book has inspired me to invite another look into WHY we use our phones the way we do, this book is far broader including why we have lost so much of the feeling of community we used to share as a Nation. Please consider reading or listening to this book and sharing it with others, the book is simply titled “THEM” by Ben Sass.
No matter our individual political views, most everyone can agree on the importance of finding common ground. In Steven Covey’s Classic book: The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People; habit #5 is to seek first to understand and then to be understood.
When we consider more our own behavior, notice and observe more our own actions, day-in and day-out, we can begin to see whether we are part of the solution or part of the problem.
We are surrounded by many influences - including those that are held in our hand throughout each day.
Notice and observe all the more how you are being affected - both positively and negatively.
Are you becoming more, or less, of the person you want to see?
Observe, notice and consider writing down your observations.
When we become more conscious, we will behave more conscientiously!
Make it a great week!