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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Are you watching or living?

I rarely watch the news, but just by chance last week I was at the gym when it was on and since my ipod had run out of battery I tuned in to Peter Overton sharing with us the day that was – what a mistake. Every news story ranging from a promiscuous circus performer to a desperate ex duchess was just depressing. There was no doubt I felt much, much worse about life after listening to the news, and since I still manage to function reasonably well without it, I decided to actively avoid tuning in again anytime soon.

Time management guru Timothy Ferris who wrote the actively preaches about the psychological benefits of following a “low information” diet in a world in which we have constant access to information and stimulation, arguing that becoming too entrenched in watching everyone else live, means that we leave far less time for us to live ourselves.

Each and every day we subject ourselves to far more information than we need. We listen to boring colleagues at lunchtime, we routinely watch or listen to the news when we could be listening or watching something that really stimulates our soul and we commit to social experiences we would rather not because we are too passive to really say what we want. If you find yourself regularly feeling overwhelmed and lacking meaning in your day to day world it may be time to consider if you tend to observe rather than live life.