How do I know you’re wasting your time?
You are reading this article, right now. This was almost certainly not on your to-do list today. It is most definitely not in your life’s purpose. If I asked you to write down the top 100 important things in your life, scrolling through LinkedIn would not be on it. We can say with absolute certainty then, that while I hope to get you some benefit out of reading this, that you were not spending time on what’s important to you when you ended up here today. Chances are strong that this wasn’t a one-time thing. Chances are you do this every day. Most likely many times a day.
Why is this important?
You are going to die. In the scale of the universe, you are going to die quite soon. If you continue aimlessly scrolling without purpose in your life driving you, it will seem like the blink of an eye. This moment is gone, and now the next one is too. Each day you have the opportunity to challenge that, and to make major efforts to live a meaningful, fulfilled life. But, for most of us, on most days, we don’t.
So why are you here?
You are here because your lifestyle, like mine, is influenced by a continual trend towards a constant connectivity and entertainment that is ruining your life. If you are like most americans, you are spending an obscene amount of your day on things that are not truly meaningful. We then wonder why we feel lost, adrift, and purposeless. The worst part is every day it gets worse, because your brain is trained to follow the path of least resistance. Spending two hours alone reflecting on your life is hard, spending two hours scrolling is easy.
So, instead, we spend our time on shallow efforts hoping that one will break through our miasma, and change our lives for us. But here’s the truth, and every motivational speaker you’ve read will agree:
You will not find what you are looking for in the rush of the day to day. Your next email will not give you financial freedom. The next article you read isn’t going to make you magically lose twenty pounds, or double your income. Your problem is not needing new information, your problem is acting on information. You are not acting on information because you are not making time to do deep, meaningful work, and are actively destroying your capability to as evidenced by your presence here today. In order to live your life, you will need to take action, and right now you don’t have the skill to do it, or else you wouldn’t be reading this today.
So what do you do?
If I could offer you a magic pill to suddenly reverse what thousands of hours of facebook, reddit, news, adult websites and others shots of dopamine have done to our brains, I would. But that’s not possible. To relearn the skill of going deep into meaningful things that require concentrated effort, rather than scrolling the surface of life, will… require concentrated effort an practice. Like most things in life, the very thing that we are having difficulty doing, is required to do it better.
Start today by taking a single action away from the shallows, that will allow you to begin the journey towards the life you want, or to figure out what that is. Stop rushing around like a chicken with your head cut off, feeling helpless and adrift running from one fire drill to another. Not forever, but just for a while. I ask you to just do one of the following three things today, to start a journey towards a more centered life. If you cannot do it right now, schedule it for later. Literally, put it on your schedule. It won’t change everything, but it will be a start.
OPTION 1: SCHEDULE A 10 MINUTE DAILY WALK
During this walk, you commit to reflecting on whether you’re spending time on the most important things at work or home. Do your first one now and reflect on the feeling you have from scrolling through linkedin.
OPTION 2: BLOCK OFF THE FIRST 30 MINUTES OF EVERY SINGLE DAY AT WORK
During this 30 minutes you commit to saying that you turn off all forms of communication and work on your most important task. Make sure that this time is inviolable. Write down something you’d enjoy doing, that is important, and commit to during it during the first one tomorrow.
OPTION 3: DOWNLOAD HEADSPACE AND DO MEDITATION #1
Headspace is a non-affiliated app I found extremely helpful for learning meditation, which changed my life. The first 10 sessions are free then it is quite reasonable considering that I would say meditation saves me several hours a day and makes me much more productive.
Why do I care?
I have a love/hate relationship with articles for this very reason, because 99% of the time they aren’t enough to inspire action. They just tell us what we already know and add to our knowledge base, without assisting us to effect change. However, I believe it’s important to share what I learn and experiment with, so am trying the best medium for successfully getting people to improve their lives and bridge the Knowing Doing Gap. Please help me by commenting what you felt about the article, how it could be better, and what techniques you have for going deep or centering yourself.