Life moves at warp speed these days. Miss a day at work, a chat with family, checking our Twitter account, the daily news, and we’ve likely missed at least one item of value to us. At its extreme, this phenomenon is called FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). I’m here to challenge us all to slow our roll, and enjoy the silence a bit.
Today, I want to talk about what living our lives at this warp speed does to us personally. In short, we know at all times that any time we want to “catch up” we merely need to check out our top social media resources or key contacts. And, so we often do. Again and then in a few minutes, again…
But what is the cost of doing this? For every action there is a converse reaction. In this case, we are missing the moments of free thinking and moments of pure silence in our mind. At this point, you may be asking so what?
Here’s the scoop! It’s often in these free-thinking moments that our creativity lies. This silence gives our minds time to wander into new areas, unexplored paths, and new journeys. It’s moments like this that the light bulb goes off in our mind with a new idea, where the seedlings of our ambitions lie, and where much needed rest for our overworked mind resides.
If we bombard these otherwise quite productive moments of silence with a highlight reel of the day, we are missing out on the moments that will actually have an impact on our own lives. I find this much more important than filling my mind with news that has impacted moreso the lives of others. Yet I am just as guilty of reaching for my phone on a commercial break, checking the headlines before bed, and reading Twitter while chatting with a friend. All habits I’m working on breaking.
The rewards of slowing our roll are definitely there. When I’ve managed to step away from my phone (sometimes this means putting it in another room), I’ve found myself pondering my career, my weekend plans, remembering to call a friend I haven’t in a while… All things that will get me further in my life. This has felt good, productive, and even mentally healthy for me.
By slowing my roll, I’ve truly experienced the moment I’m living in, I’ve had time to think about my own needs (self-care!) and the needs of my loved ones (relationship-building), and the reality is, I haven’t really missed anything “real” by not checking my phone for updates. After all, I can do that all in one big swoop at any time, at a later time, or even not at all. What matters more than the life updates of others is my own updates. And I will only have updates if I learn to slow my roll and experience my life. To give myself the time I need to think about what I want and spend my time focusing on that.
My personal challenge this coming month is to slow my roll every day of February in hopes of making this my new habit. I challenge you all to give it a shot too. If you’ve already done this, I’d love to hear how it turned out. Or, even if you are considering it, I’d love to hear what’s got you thinking about it.