Over the last few months, I have become intrigued by stories of people giving up their mobile phones or reverting to basic versions. These intrepid voyagers are swimming against the tide, imagine asking your 14-year-old to try this! But I feel they may be on to something big.
One recurring experience they describe is the improvement in their ability to think and concentrate, and perhaps, more importantly, they feel more present in their situation and surroundings.
I believe this idea can help us in the pursuit of our dreams and goals. Success often boils down to your ability to set goals and consistently work towards them while you adapt in response to real-world feedback.
We observe what happens, then think about it and change direction if required! It’s not rocket science, it’s a fundamental skill that we all learn from a very young age, but mobile phones get in the way.
We should be looking up and out, experiencing our world first-hand, listening, learning and gathering information and insights. But instead during every pause, at every quiet moment, we pull out our mobiles and look down, shutting out the real world to play games, browse social media, read articles or watch videos.
We are distracted and rarely present. We are not observing our surroundings; we are not seeing and feeling what’s happening. We aren’t even properly listening to the people around us, so we miss the subtleties of what’s happening.
We are scared to spend time alone without the comforting feel of our phones in our hands. We must break this habit!
Thinking time is when we make the great leaps. It’s when we learn. It’s when we improve. It’s when we realise that our current direction isn’t right, and we need to change. If we use our mobile phones to distract ourselves, we are allowing them to waste our lives. Minute by minute, they quietly eat away at our minds.
I don’t know how I’m going to move forward with these ideas.
I’m thinking perhaps of having two phones. One old school one that I will carry around day to day for telephone calls and texting. Then I could keep my iPhone in the van so that its available for satnav and an internet connection.
I had a conversation with a friend yesterday in which I said we were sleepwalking towards a society we don’t want. I think mobile phones are a clear illustration of this. They bring great benefits but also have enormous power to do us harm.
Is it time we all made some changes?
We climb the mountain, not in giant leaps but one small step at a time.