Happy New Year! Begin this New Year with power, optimism, and new way to look at how you think about what you think. Never before in human history have we been the recipients of so much information designed to fill us with ideas, desires, and distractions. The news of the world good, bad or indifferent is available at every hour of every day. We can keep out that pesky internal chatter in our own heads at any time by putting on a set of headphones and distracting ourselves with music, spending time talking to someone on the phone, text messaging, Tweeting or going to Facebook just so we don’t have to deal with our own thoughts or make time for any kind of quiet contemplation, critical thinking or focusing on business tasks. We often feel like the lone ranger, like we are the only ones with these doubts, insecurities, frustrations and internal chaos. So we hide behind and become very attached to being distracted with all the emotional baggage that comes with it.
See if this sounds familiar: You start out with some great thought about a business project, that then brings you to something else, and that leads to what you to, “I forgot to pick up the laundry” to “I need to call …”, let me just check in with Facebook, etc. and you are off and running finding it almost impossible to get back to that terrific thought you had in the first place. And don’t forget to notice the emotional range you just experienced as well. Each thought you just had, held a different level and type of emotional pull. It’s exhausting!
As hard as it is to believe, taking a break from being that plugged into the virtual world and tuned out from your innermost self, might be refreshing and certainly help you get a more balanced perspective of your life even though it might require that you make some changes.
In the 16th century sailors used the term “fetish” which comes from the Portuguese word meaning “charm” to describe the odd objects made of many different items that were worshipped by the natives of western Africa. The sailors thought them interesting souvenirs to bring home, but the Africans held them in great esteem believing that they were home to the spirits. We too have our own version of this “fetish.”
It is our emotional attachment to our things, thoughts, stuff and our every day pluggediness, that often pulls us off point. Many of us allow all of this to define our worth and we often make their acquisition and constant usage one of the central goals of our lives with all that emotional baggage attached. The more we feed our materialistic, and emotional appetites, and our lust for distraction, the hungrier they become. They both provide a link with the past, and a message to the future. Think about that! Often spending too much time in either the past or the future allows us to stay stuck in our comfort zone afraid to break out and take that all important risk whether it be in conducting the business aspects that will get you to the next step in your career or personal relationships that need tending. And emotions help stir our passion for what we are doing, right? It’s like feeling caged in…
The challenge to all of this is to remind ourselves that our own worth is innate and inviolable. The worth of any object or relationship and it’s emotional pull – whether it be becoming a “star”, a great performer, king or queen of the virtual world, piece of art, a car, an heirloom, a person, food or drink, lies in what it is, not in whether we can aspire to possess it or fear its loss.
From my own experience I feel it all boils down to knowing how to slow down just a wee bit and having the guts to get more unplugged. It might feel very unnerving and uncomfortable in the beginning. However this allows you to start looking at your world through different eyes so you can do the necessary critical thinking about a particular subject or business prospect which will eventually give you a real choice as to what you want to accomplish or do.
Try this: When you start to feel that emotional pull, try physically taking one step back away from it, leaving the emotional feeling over there where you just were. You might have to do that a few times, but by becoming disassociated from the emotion, you have the ability to remain curious and flexible within the situation looking only at the information and facts. It’s liberating.
I hope the goal for you now is to start the New Year by making the time to think about how this might work in your life, both within your personal and your career relationships and even when you talk to yourself, you know that inner conversation we have in our heads. It’s for sure going to be a challenge. It’s for sure going to be different. So, my question to you is, “Is it worth your time and energy?”
Avanti, and Happy New Year! Now that you know what I’ve been thinking about, let me hear what you! Ciao, Carol