Posts Tagged ‘meditation’

Twitterdom or Wisdom?

June 22, 2009

While attending a funeral recently I glanced up and down just my row to see several people Twittering and checking emails in the last few minutes prior to the beginning of the service.  It’s now common during sermons and seminars to see people with their heads down, busy passing on tidbits of information instantly.  This morning I read that one million people are following Ashton Kutcher on Twitter.  

I suggest that this massive addiction to information leads us away from wisdom, not toward it, creating what author Shane Hill calls “a permanent puberty of the mind.”  Recognize that information, knowledge and even intelligence do not necessarily lead to wisdom.  The overload of information in fact encourages the opposite of what creates wisdom – stillness, time, reflection and solitude.  With the internet, TV, email, FaceBook, Twitter and cell phones, there is no waiting.  There is no such thing as stillness or quiet personal reflection.  Meaningful experiences and the path toward wisdom can be diverted by constant information. 

I am not anti-technology.  I love having instant access to useful information.  But this is much like having a bowl of peanut M&Ms in front of me.  I tend to eat them just because they are there.  At some point I will have to remove myself from the bowl or my initial pleasure will turn to misery and sickness.  And I believe allowing a constant diet of unlimited information and data into our brain will also ultimately turn from being a useful treat to something that will cause our mental lives to become bloated and deprive us of the characteristics we desire most.  We have to decide when to push back from the table of information overload – where it leads to our emotional, social, philosophical, and psychological sickness rather than being a useful addition in our quest for wisdom.  I have made strategic decisions to not be on Facebook or use Twitter.  Not because they are bad but because I have to chose which tools that I can use effectively.  

Increasing the rate of information input to your brain may make you a candidate for Jeopardy but it probably has little to do with increasing spiritual characteristics like love, trust, compassion, faith, courage – and wisdom. 

Want to increase your wisdom?

  • Practice reflection, meditation and introspective thinking for 30 minutes each morning.  Many who allow constant input are keeping themselves in the shallow end of the wisdom pool.  Don’t be one of them.
  • Turn off the TV for at least two hours every evening
  • Read your email at set times during the day – perhaps once in the morning and once in the evening.  Don’t allow yourself to be interrupted with every new incoming message
  • Spend four hours on Saturday without your cell phone or computer
  • Plan one day a quarter on an “information fast.”  Get away from your computer, your cell phone, TV and the newspapers.  You’ll be amazed at how your creativity will increase – you may get the one idea that will change your future
  • Read one good non-fiction book each month.  Chose carefully from the wisdom of the ages.

Incidentally, according to a new Nielson report, 60% of Twitter users sign up and drop out after one month.  And I seriously doubt that following Ashton Kutcher is going to increase your wisdom.

I Don’t Have Enough Time??

October 17, 2008

The biggest deterrent I hear to starting a new business, writing a new book, becoming an expert in one area, or moving up the ladder of achievement in any way is – “I don’t have enough time.” 

I just got the Nov/Dec issue of The Futurist magazine.  In an article on How Americans Spend Their Time it reports a recent Bureau of Labor Statistics survey.  Among other findings it shows:

Watching television remains the single most common and most time-consuming leisure activity among Americans.  Both men and women spend an average of 2.6 hours per day surfing channels from the couch.

Holy Moley!  2.6 hours a day.  What are these people thinking?  That’s 18.2 hours a week, 78.8 hours a month, or 949 hours a year.  A typical work week only accounts for 2000 hours a year – so we’re talking about almost half as much time spent watching TV!  You know what you could learn and accomplish in that same amount of time?

I’m convinced a person could take that TV time, read a great business book every week, spend 4-5 hours focused on developing a new business, 30 minutes a day in quiet meditation that would explode their creativity, and still catch 10 minutes of daily news on TV.  In 90 days that person would have clarity about their passion, purpose and calling, in six months they could put themselves in the top 3% in income, and after one year would look back in amazement that they waited so long to release the meaning, fulfillment and prosperity that was there all along.