Advice / Leadership / Op-Ed / Friendships & Relationships

Losing Yourself In A World Full of Constant Communication

In the last 2 weeks, I heard three different people say to me: “You remembered that? Wow, most people don’t remember such small details about my life. I’m impressed!”

My immediate reaction was to say: “Oh, why not?” It seemed almost absurd to me that someone would forget such interesting details about another person’s life.

Then it hit me. In a world where we are hyper multi-taskers constantly exposed to new information and ever-growing numbers of communications within our professional and personal hours, the value of simple day-to-day interactions with real human beings has slowly become diluted. I don’t want to say that personal relationships have become devalued, but it has certainly started to feel this way. Being on large projects or working in big companies or even living the life of a social butterfly certainly has its own set of precautions. Our personal relationships and daily interactions can easily become transactional if we allow ourselves to take out the personal and meaningful.

When our lives become so busy and we start focusing and dictating our lives around someone else’s agenda, we begin to lose our own sense of self and all the bits and pieces of information about the importance of personal time, personal reflection, and our health and well-being slowly goes down the drain.

What’s ironic is that I’ve been reading (trying to read) two books lately: “Quiet” by Susan Cain and “The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We’ve Lost in a World of Constant Connection” by Michael Harris. Further to that, a leader at my company was sharing with us the importance of introspection and to “Take non-priorities off our plates.” At one point this week, I spent an evening watching TED Talks and listening to HBR IdeaCasts to let my mind learn something completely new. I think it’s been shouting for a while now to learn a different perspective and explore  the world of what other people are doing. (Ah yes, curiosity!) I ended up getting well-packaged glimpses of what others have been focusing their lives on.

The quote that goes “Behind every Yes is a No to something else.” was an awakening for me this week.

Over the past half year, I realize I have been pushing aside all these reminders and gentle taps to focus (on myself!) Perhaps it has been a self-selective filtering of information or an attitude of placing milestones on a backlog. (There’s a bottleneck that’s been forming – that’s right!) In any case, I’m glad it’s finally hit me. So what do I do about it now? Write a list.

Rediscovering Genuine Relationships

  1. Daily Gratitude Journal (Rule: 3 bullets/day)
  2. Diligent UN-Plug 1 hour before bed (Rule: Enforce the Bedtime Routine)
  3. K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Sista!)

As you move forward into what is seemingly an never ending progression of data and information, I encourage you to “Stop. Smell the Roses.” before you continue your journey. People are constantly around you and each one of them is like a rose, embodied by its unique scent and beauty. I end with one last quote: “If you’re willing to listen, everybody has a story to share.”

Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed this snippet!

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