Sleep and Laziness: The demons that lure you…

Sleep and laziness are the two demons that lurk frequently in the corridors of solitude. Sometimes veiled in an illusion of momentary comforts, sometimes disguised as ‘breaks’ to relax your back, or even in the form of ‘power naps’, they just keep looking for an opening in your determination, a chink in your perseverance. And they keep coming back until they find one.

They lure you first with an innocently comfortable stance on the chair. Then just a minute of lying down. They let you believe that everything is under control. That you can get up whenever you want, while slowly delivering you into the arms of a deceptive comfort. That soft fabric of the bed. That cozy pillow smelling fresh of detergent. The moderately cool air. The sweet sensation of easing down of the muscles. Everything points that there is something wrong here. That it is too good to be nice. Yet they boggle down your mind with inflated beliefs of your will power. They convince you that you still hold the reins while they push you down to the depths of lethargy.

Then, you suddenly start realising that time is passing too quickly. You decide to end it. They try to convince you that its not yet time and a few more minutes wouldn’t do much harm. By this time the demons have put you on a sledge sloping down into the warm pool of laziness. Still you make a disheartened attempt to get up. But, you realise it has been too late. You are falling too fast. All your will power, all your mental strength fails to overcome the immense pleasures of the bed, the sweet nectar of comfort flowing in the muscles and joints. It’s all too hard to give up. And then you start thinking of Plan B. The will to fight against the demons is replaced by the zeal of making up for the lost time after you get up. That’s right. It feels easier this way. You feel good imagining yourself doing hard work tomorrow to make up for the lost time today. It all feels good. Everything is settled now.

And before you know the demons have you at their leash, subduing you at the petty pleasures of senses, making you a slave of comfort. You sleep while the perseverant burn the midnight oil. You float in your kingdom of dreams while the others move a step closer to their own. You are sleeping soundly while the demons dance upon you, guffawing at their yet another success

Courtesy: http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-openpage/experiments-with-solitude/article6994651.ece

The Master’s Wisdom

Much publicity was made for the address the Master would deliver on ‘The Destruction of the World’ and a large crowd gathered at the monastery grounds to hear him. The address was over in less than a minute.

All he said was: “These things will destroy the human race: politics without principle, progress without compassion, wealth without hard work, learning without applying, religion without belief and worship without awareness.”

Social Media Sabbatical : The new treks through Nepal….

Why you should take a social media sabbatical

unplug
 Paul Jarvis is a best-selling author and designer. He writes weekly for his popular newsletter and runs an online course on becoming a better freelancer.

One of my clients told me that social media sabbaticals are the new treks through Nepal. Taking a social media sabbatical is trendy, takes some courage, and for most westerners, it’s outside the realm of possibility. But (thankfully for me), it doesn’t require as much physical fitness as a hiking the Himalayas.

I’ve spent the last two months on a break from social. No tweets, no instas—nothing. I went an extra step and stopped sending newsletters or doing interviews, as well.

Rewinding to whatever “the norm” was before my break: I spent lots of time onsocial media. As an author, product maker, self-employed, brand-builder type person, I’ve used social to build awareness of what I do and what I sell. I use it to connect, network, and stay in touch with friends (most of whom I’ve become friends with on those networks).

There haven’t been active notifications on any device I own for years (they’re far too distracting). So even before my hiatus, I only noticed social when I logged into it, which was often.

I went from a few hours a day on social to none.

And it was quiet.

 Why you should take a social media sabbatical

Almost eerily quiet.

Remarkably, it wasn’t as difficult as I thought it’d be. The time I would have spent tweeting or posting photos was spent working instead. And my work was done quicker. Not just because the time typically spent online socializing was replaced with space, but because I had no choice but to work on my work for longer. Which meant I could get more efficient with it.

For those of you who may have been following along with me, you already know about my penchant for experimenting. One of my favorite experiments is to take something I think I can’t live without and try to eliminate it from my life.

Sometimes I fail (for example, living without furniture is possible but really bad for one’s back). Sometimes I realize what I thought would be lacking isn’t lacking at all (like when I turned off all notifications on all my computers and phones). One time, I realized that giving up spending any money for six months (other than for food) makes it really hard to publish a book that requires money to hire experts (like editors, photographers, etc).

What I liked about my experiment to take a long break from social was that it opened up space. Space to think. Space to be alone with my thoughts. Space to explore.

And most of all, space to focus.

But that’s boring!

Neil Gaiman (who’s at least 42.7 times more smart than I am) says that the best way to come up with really awesome ideas is to get really bored. But we don’t let ourselves get bored anymore.

When all the small gaps in our days are filled with refreshing or sharing, there’s no room left to just sit and breathe and let whatever thoughts that want to happen… just happen. There are more ideas—not fewer—when you remove noise.

There is no longer space in our lives. We can’t wait in line without getting on ourphones. Or sit on a bus. Or eat. Or wake up. Or wait for an elevator. Or watch a sunset.

Extra, dangling seconds force most of us to reach for our pockets and pull out ourtiny computers that connect to the Internet. We must scroll and react to whatever shows up on our screen, as if by some neurological impulse.

creative thinking 730x458 Why you should take a social media sabbatical

Social media definitely forces me to think about whatever is on my screen. Sometimes it’s something I don’t want to think about, like football (American or European). Sometimes it’s something that riles me up, like proposed pipelines going through my Province. Sometimes I’m taken from a happy place to being angry, frustrated, sad, or hurt.

It’s all outside of my control because I’m passively letting whatever stimulus floats into my tiny screen affect me.

When social is gone, I’m more in charge of my stimulus. I get to pick what I want think about (sometimes) and what I focus on. Or what I want to learn more about or not learn about at all.

When you work for yourself, social media is almost like a water cooler. I miss that aspect of it, because most connecting in my day happens online. Sure, I still text with my good friends or email or Skype. But the circle of people I connect with is much smaller when I’m not on social.

Without social, I only connect with people who I’m decent friends with. Not the periphery of people I like and like to interact with, but am not very close to. Without social, there are no new people in my circles, either. So my world got smaller.

Sometimes a quiet small is good.

education 730x276 Why you should take a social media sabbatical

There are no interruptions, no comparisons of what I’m doing versus what others are publicly achieving. No mob to join in with or chastise when current events become the hot topic. There’s just me—myself, my thoughts (a scary picture – painted by rats with a penchant for the macabre), and my work.

I realized that society doesn’t stop happening if I’m not tuned into it 24/7. Bigger things will find their way to me, maybe not instantly, but when I’m ready for them. Important people will stay in touch. Even though 60+ days passed, social won’t be a drastically different landscape with new rules and customs.

Who knows if I’ll be on social media less now that my randomly chosen amount of time to be off it has passed. Or if I’ll go back at all. Most of the time now, unless I’ve got something silly to say or I miss people there, I don’t feel like I want to go back. I don’t mind that the space it used to take up is now simply kept as space.

Unlike a trek through the Himalayas, I’m not sure if I’ve come back from this sabbatical a changed man or with a radically different view. I’m certainly not more worldly (although I have grown a dishevelled beard). But it does remind me that sometimes feeling like I could be missing out is really just missing out on the present.

And the space to focus is a truly wonderful thing for a creative mind.

Courtesy : http://thenextweb.com/lifehacks/2015/01/24/take-social-media-sabbatical/?

Checkmate!

I think an important lesson from the game is that once you have made a move, you cannot take it back. You really have to measure your decisions. You think a lot. You evaluate your choices very carefully. There’s never any guarantee about what’s going to follow once you have made a decision.

— Viswanathan Anand,Former World Chess Champion