Step 57 - What You Really Need Is A Connection…With Yourself
I lead a life that I didn’t expect to be leading right now. (No, I’m not a princess living in a castle.) Six months ago, I decided not to have internet in my apartment. I have it on my phone, but the reception in my apartment is so bad that I don’t even check it. In other words, when I’m at home, I don’t check the internet. And how does it feel? Amazing. It was weird for the first three months. I would come back home and want to turn on a show after I took a shower. But now it just feels right. Here’s the thing – it’s not like you’re coming back home and reading the New York Times on the internet, you’re just putting something on Hulu or Netflix, watching “Seinfeld” reruns (at least in my case) or another show all over again. You just need internet for pure entertainment.
My current job doesn’t require an internet connection (it’s actually the opposite), so I can have the privilege of not using it at home. Yes, I see it as a privilege, and I believe that is exactly how it’ll be seen a couple of years from now. I really think that we don’t need this constant “connection” to “everyone.” I noticed the more you connect to “the online world,” the less you’re connected to the reality around you, not to mention to yourself. It’s so frustrating seeing people on the streets texting, writing e-mails or watching movies and shows while they’re walking! Really? You walk down the streets watching “CIA: Criminal Minds” and this is what you call life?
Did my experiment change something? Oh yes, it did, on many levels. I’m definitely calmer now. I finally learned to meditate on a daily basis, I finally started a journal again, I dance more often, I listen to music more, I think way more. And that’s the main change. No, I don’t analyze what’s going on in my life, I don’t analyze my past (that’s for sure) and I don’t stress about the future (I’m trying not to). I just let my mind fly. I don’t try to occupy it with something; it’s not necessary. It’s occupied enough during the day – I work, talk to people, I live in NY (that’s enough), take the subway, go to the gym, walk in Manhattan – that’s enough for my brain to go crazy. I really don’t need to give it additional distractions when I get back home. And that’s why I find not having internet for a while as a blessing. People used to live without internet - imagine that. I don’t know if they were happier, but I kind of feel that they were.
I encourage you to change your habits a bit. Start with one evening without internet. Then go to two days, then maybe three days. Try it. You really have nothing to lose. The world won’t collapse because you didn’t watch the newest episode of your favorite show right away. You won’t collapse. It can wait. It really can. I’m not saying stop watching Netflix, I’m just saying change your routine. Spend some time thinking about yourself, talk to your partner more often, look around. It might be difficult at the beginning, but once you get it, you will find it as gripping as the best Netflix show you’ve seen so far. After a while you’ll notice how much you’ve been distracting yourself and running away from yourself. The problem is that you can’t run away from yourself; that’s a race you will always lose. You have to start reflecting on yourself, recharge, pay attention to how you’ve changed, where are you going and who you’ve become. You can’t just pour information into yourself without even processing it and – what’s worst – without noticing how much it has transformed you. The sooner you start reflecting on yourself, the sooner that, chances are, you’ll have a happier life and you’ll get to the finish line with a smile on your face.
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