We live in a crazy fast world. We are constantly connected to everything and everyone else. I really do mean everything. Don’t believe me? Ask Google any question and find an instant answer. Find a video on anything you ask for on You Tube. Find all the friends you ever wanted—or didn’t want— on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. If we are not careful, we can be constantly entertained and stimulated, leaving no time for real thinking, real pondering, and really going deep.
Classic day: Wake up to the alarm on your phone. Roll over and check your morning text messages. When you’re done, check your personal email. When you finish with that, check and make sure you don’t have any new pressing work messages on your work email.
There that’s better.
Now better check the news, not just one news source but several, just to be sure.
Done. Now time to check your Twitter account, your Facebook account, your Instagram, and your Snapchat.
Ok, guess it’s time to get out of bed.
This sounds crazy, eh? Or does it sound like a normal day? We now spend more time with our phones than we do with our work, friends, or family. It’s true and it’s sad. It is not making us better people. The problem is, while we are extremely connected, we spend very little time going deep. It is in going deep that we find true solutions, amazing relationships, true answers, and true happiness.
Go deep with your thinking. I learned a concept called “thinking time” from my mentor, Keith Cunningham. The idea is setting aside time every week with just you and a pad of paper and a pen to do some thinking. Pick a subject, or create a question you are trying to answer in your life, and then spend some time just thinking about the answers to that question. Take an hour and contemplate what the best solutions are. It sounds and it IS difficult to concentrate for that long the first few times. That’s because we have become accustomed to societal Attention Deficit Disorder, where we have to be thinking and doing 15 things at the same time. Spending time in quiet and thinking takes fortitude and discipline, but it is so worth the effort. It allows you to start to realize better answers. Your brain is an amazing computer if you use it. It also allows you to tap into infinite intelligence. Ask and ye shall receive, seek and ye shall find. After some time thinking, you start to have inspired thoughts you would not have if you simply stay shallow.
Go deep in our relationships. I’m amazed how many times I watch interactions, or am involved in them, where during conversation someone is simultaneously on their phone answering text messages or email while talking. If I mention it, they ALWAYS have some excuse which, apparently, they think justifies their rudeness. I was at a restaurant recently and four girls were having dinner together and all four were on their phones talking to someone else. It made me wonder why they were not at dinner with that person. Take time to spend time with your friends. Like really spend time with them. Put the phone down and spend one on one time looking at each other, listening, talking, and enjoying them. Go deep in the relationship. Those are the times we remember, and they are the times that forge long lasting, deep, meaningful relationships.
Go deep in our problem solving. We often have a day filled with one hour meetings. We want to be efficient, so we start on time and end on time. The problem is that in our obsession to be efficient, we are often not effective. Some problems just need some time, and some debate and smart people sitting around a table or a dry board brainstorming. That cannot be done in an hour. Try scheduling an all-day meeting, or a several-hour meeting, where you have time to go deep. Have everyone bring their best ideas and debate them. Don’t get “married” to your idea, but argue for and against it in a logical, passionate way. It’s amazing the things you can solve if you try this.
Go deep in your self-mastery. Take time to become a better you. This requires time away from all the noise. It requires shutting down the outside world and doing real self-evaluation. Are you happy with you? Are you happy with how you treat others? Are you happy with your education? Are you happy with your physical fitness? What could you work on that starts with the word “I “? Take time to read, learn, contemplate, journal, and plan. Commit to an “Hour of Power” every day where you spend time with yourself. A life unexamined is a life un-lived. Can you take some time for self-examination and self-reflection? This leads to a self-calm and a self confidence that is not based on what others think but only on what you think about you.
In summary, life is fast and furious. If we are not careful it will control us instead of us controlling it. We need to make life our bitch. It will give us whatever we ask of it, but we have to be willing to ask and then to squeeze every last drop out.
Living Every Minute,