Bob Goff in Love Does says that he quits something every Thursday. While that’s admirable and I wish Bob Goff was my very cool uncle, I’m not sure it’s a necessarily good philosophy. If I am quitting something every Thursday then it probably means that I am continuing to pick up a whole lot of things, too, which I think misses the point.
If you’re going to live your best life, you need to slow down.
It’s easy, and I think natural, to live life on the go. When I observe how most people live I notice we tend to function at 110%, then we crash and burn, promise we’ll slow down, but then get back up and jump in full force again. This is not sustainable. If you’re going to live your best life, you need to slow down. The kicker is what “slow” looks like is going to vary based on who God has created you to be. However, I am going to generalize based on an observation I’ve noticed that I think impacts our ability to slow down and that is our fear of missing out.
It’s easy to fear missing out, and to be proved we did miss out, by checking social media often. I think social media and the use of smartphones can be a great thing, but I also think they busy us more than they need to. We don’t think critically how we are using these devices, but we do turn to them in every awkward pause – whether that’s a lull in conversation or walking from your car into the grocery store. By constantly having something to stimulate our brain and show us that we’re missing out on something when we’re busy doing something else we begin to believe that we are busy – when really we’re just doing a bad job at balance. We weren’t made to have one conversation in real life with our co-worker about the spreadsheets that you need to finish and another text conversation giving your best friend a counselling session because she’s having a mid life crisis. No wonder we feel busy! Then we get stressed, maybe have anxiety, and feel like the world is moving too fast.
The simple solution in life is to put your phone away more.
The simple solution in life is to put your phone away more. When you’re with a friend, or group of friends, or at work, turn off your ringer and put your phone in a pocket. When you’re with your friends, your people are with you – the text from your boss can wait because right now it’s after work hours. If you get fired as a result, get a new job – anybody who is relying on you that badly cannot be a person or a job that is good for your health. When you’re at work, your co-workers can find you at your desk, and your friend with the mid-life crisis can wait until after work so you can be fully engaged with and present for her.
The flip side of “just put away your phone,” is that I understand this can be hard for people. I recently talked with a friend who said she wasn’t sure if she’d ever considered to be away from her phone. Going without it for even an hour caused her a little stress. Which, by the way, I think is proof that our phones keep us busy and don’t encourage slowing down. I think you’ll find that if you choose to not go near your phone for a few hours in your day that people will survive without your response.
We’re not worrying about what everyone else is doing, but we’re grateful for what we’re doing.
My smartphone makes me think so much about myself, yet God calls us to love Him and love others. When I stop spending so much time on my smartphone I realize that my fear of missing out has decreased because I’m choosing to engage with my present situation – which is actually really good because I’ve invited friends over for games and we’re laughing, making jokes, and doing life together the way God wanted us too. We’re not worrying about what everyone else is doing, but we’re grateful for what we’re doing.
So when fear of missing out is pressuring you to say YES – yes to too many things, yes to checking social media, yes to checking your phone all the time – I dare you to say NO. I bet you’ll find you slow down. Slowing down can feel uncomfortable, but it’ll help you create a life that is much more sustainable.
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Bob Goff in Love Does says that he quits something every Thursday. While that’s admirable and I wish Bob Goff was my very cool uncle, I’m not sure it’s a necessarily good philosophy. If I am quitting something every Thursday then it probably means that I am continuing to pick up a whole lot of things, too, which I think […]