Archive for February 9th, 2010

Living an Intentional, Conscious Life to the Fullest

Wow, it’s always surprising to see what resonates with folks, especially when it’s something that’s just a given in my own life that I don’t really think twice about.

Case in point, I always write a little personal note relating to that week’s feature article topic in every issue of our association ezine, The Portable Business.™

Since this week’s topic was about the problem with multi-tasking, this is what I wrote:

“Without a doubt, one of the secrets to my success is that I simply do not multi-task. I learned long ago back in my corporate days that it is simply counter-productive. You can’t really and truly be present in your work and for your clients if your mind is divided and distracted. That’s not fair to them. This is also part of the present and conscious lifestyle I intentionally choose to live. I absolutely love technology. I used to be the type who had all the latest gadgets as soon as they hit the shelf. But I found that I couldn’t live fully and presently in the moment if I was always hunched over the keypad of a Blackberry. Life is so much more delicious when your eyes and ears and fingers and mind aren’t constantly preoccupied. So I say “no” to too much technology in my life. I have a simple cell phone that does one thing: it makes and receives phone calls. Imagine that! I don’t text and I don’t tweet, and my clients are never given my mobile number. I keep our communication strictly to email and phone calls by appointment. When I am away from the office, I am fully engaged in LIFE and ready to savor experiences with all of my senses.”

I received such a flurry of emails on this from folks who identified so much with the idea of purposely NOT having all the latest gadgets, yet are made to feel guilty or “less-than” about that.

I hear you guys!

It’s like peer pressure. It’s the internet version of “keeping up with the Joneses” mentality.

People are made to feel like they aren’t successful if they don’t have all the latest and greatest stuff, and that’s just crazy.

Stuff isn’t what makes people happy. Nor is it what makes them better or more successful people.

It’s okay to be conscious and purposeful about how much stuff and technology you allow in your life, and how you leverage the technology tools you do allow in your business without letting them taking over your life.

This topics reminds me of a documentary I saw recently called The Bridge about all the suicides that occur at the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

Apparently more people take their lives there than anywhere else in the world.

The filmmakers set up a camera over the course of a year and documented these very tragic last moments of people taking their lives there there were all too tragically common.

They then set out to learn more about some of those people, interviewing family members, bystanders and rescuers.

It was quite controversial because some folks thought it was exploitive. Personally, I felt they gave a very moving, respectful treatment.

At any rate, one of people interviewed was a bystander who ended up saving a woman from jumping to her death (a woman who had attempted it before and later attempted it again, that time succeeding in taking her own life).

He was someone who was just sightseeing and taking photos like all the thousands of other people who visit the bridge. Something he said has always stuck with me.

He said he’d been looking through his lens and watching this person who was about to commit suicide, and explained how you really are in a different world when you are behind the camera. It’s like it’s a movie and not real and he really had to shake himself out of it in time to help that person and save her life.

I remember so totally understanding what he meant because at the time I’d been really infatuated with a new camera and was being Miss Shutterbug until I realized I was missing so much other stuff because I was always behind the lens.

It’s like you aren’t really taking part or experiencing what is going on. You’re just an observer and at the same time, not seeing or feeling everything fully.

I still love taking pictures; that won’t stop anytime soon because I’ve always regretted not taking more pictures earlier in my life.

But I’m more conscious about not taking it to extremes and putting it away so that I don’t miss out on the experiences and memories that are life. It’s those things — not gadgets — that enrich your soul.