I’m at Southport Flower Show this week, it’s windy and like Lowther last week, very wet, but this time the event is in a park that drains well, and so I don’t expect any major problems beyond discomfort. All this wet weather has me thinking about how I spend my leisure time.
I have always had a love-hate relationship with TV. I haven’t owned one for more than 15 years, which has worked well and encouraged me to read a lot. I hate the thought of wasting time and find the mindless hours sat in front of a box such a waste.
This self-imposed exile worked perfectly until I got my iPad! Suddenly I had a mini TV in my bag, available at any time of day or night. Slowly the apps crept onto it, iPlayer, Netflix, Now TV, Amazon Prime, ITV Hub. I found myself watching endless, mindless junk.
Not stuff I was particularly interested in, certainly not things that taught me anything or expanded my mind. The programs filled the time, suddenly the hours built up, and I was watching 30+ hours a week.
I have written about this topic before and like the addict I am, I deleted the apps and went cold turkey. Unfortunately, my will power is weak, the apps crept back on, and I quickly found myself again in the same position.
I recently listened to a talk by Tony Robbins, and he asked the question, “if you knew you only had seven days to live, how would you spend your time?” He listed the usual responses we would all give about seeing loved ones, travelling, looking at a sunset, and so on. Then he said, “So why wait?”
This idea really hit home. I felt like he had punched me in the stomach.
How can I live the life of my dreams when I’m wasting all this time doing something completely mindless that brings me no joy? I resolved to take a different approach. Yesterday, I was back in Nantwich collecting stock, and so left my iPad behind.
So here I am 24 hours later TV free. Its too early to say whether I can stick it out. But gut feeling says yes. I already feel better, I went to sleep earlier, woke up earlier, feeling more rested and more awake than I have felt in ages.
The power of Tony Robbins question is that it forces you to consider how you spend your time and what your priorities are. You have no idea how much time you have left on this earth, so make sure you are spending every moment doing things that bring you joy. Things that you were put on this earth to do.
Time is short; time is precious; how you spend this time defines who you are. Please don’t waste it on mindless activities. Be a person of character, be a person of endeavour, be a person of activity and energy and most important be a person who says yes to their dreams.
Together, we climb the mountain, not in giant leaps but one small step at a time.