When days get busier, you get prudent with how you spend time – even a speck of it because you, I and all of us want to make the most of each second of our lives. Isn’t it? But are we really doing it? In this fast paced life where we have unlimited options to chose from, I wont wonder if we go wrong with our choices sometimes. But how do you realise what we do with our times?
Like what you do in between the home to office journey and way back, in between the vacant slots between the meetings, in between reaching home and having meals? Even between getting on bed and start making love? In between Friday evenings and Sunday mornings? Over a long weekend? This was the thought that hit me a few days before when I asked to an open group of people “What do you do when doing nothing?” You can still fill in the responses here
I left some of the most common options that are available to us in day to day life with Others as an open ended option for people to answer if there is anything they do beyond what I could think of. As expected 53.3% said that they were hooked to Social Media followed by 40% who said they catchup with friends and an equal %age said they loved listening music. 33.3% said that they plan for another vacation and again an equal %age said they indulged themselves in Binge Watching.
I was not shocked or in for a surprise. Because deep down these are the kind of responses I was expecting (almost in same order). This is what I observe and indulge myself in when I am doing nothing. So what’s the fuss? Is it bad? No it isn’t. But you know what is bad is the involvement of people with these activities will increase over a period of time. (We call that Habit formation) And Secondly and even deeper problem is We are constantly consuming something. We are always in this desire of acquiring something new in our brains. By planning for another vacation, what we are doing to ourselves is building the future always – living in a place and time that doesn’t exist yet and you and I cant be even sure if that will exist. We are losing touch with reality. In fact by keeping ourselves involved in one or the other activity, we are losing touch of our own self and existence. This leads us to be not being pleased with what is called NOW!
The same is the case with social media (be it facebook, instagram or twitter or even linkedin) – all of that is a virtual world, too far from reality. You just know the surface of somebody’s life and same is what you are presenting. (May be to maintain high self esteem or compensate for low self esteem). Neither they know nor you know what is happening in reality in each other’s lives. Real hardships, real challenges, real solutions and real thinking – none of it is present over social media. This is sad!
All these activities outgrow our existence leaving us no time to be present in the present. Leaving us no time to celebrate our existence. Leaving us no time to be thankful for what all do we have. Because we are always doing something (while we should not be). While we wanted to make of every second, we end up in mindless consumption of content, stories, virtual world which add no effective meaning to our lives.
On the surface of it, it might not seem a big deal. But as a matter of fact and prolonged behavior adoption; when we are not grateful to people, places or circumstances around – we also start believing that we are too good to be standing as an individual and are not dependent on anyone. (which in reality is not/never the case). This overall makes us less empathetic and less kind to people around. This is a trap house and we are left unaware and uncaught in this web of doing something (being consumed) every time and losing touch. Not only from the reality but also from our own self because we are not investing enough time and putting necessary thoughts into what is called Self! With 0 introspection, 0 touch base with our inner self, and reality – we are not getting anywhere except for this black hole of illusion.
However, there were 4 responses (like silver lining in the clouds) that said something else and I would like to share. The responses said: a) Sleep b) Try to make cuisines c) I like to dream d) I like to sit alone and think about how life started and evolved and admire the nature and its beauty.
You know what is so special with these responses. These folks are investing time in their own self. They are learning a new experience by trying to cook, either giving their bodies much needed rest by sleeping or trying to be aware of much larger schema of things. This, this my dear friends is very important for us – the mankind – to sustain and survive.
It is ok if you watch videos, listen music or watch series but balancing it out is very important. Too much of everything is bad. We need to make connect with ourselves first, we really need to. We need to stop doing something or the other when we can be seated and doing nothing. It is absolutely fine to pause, rest – sit back and relax and just doing nothing. This not only makes you and me more at peace with our own self (real self and not the virtual one) – relaxes our body and mind both – gives us wider spectrum of thoughts – makes us more empathetic – leaves room for growth – and may be make all of us better human beings too!
Don’t lose touch with yourself. You are important!
(Note: You are important and so is your family, your friends, – Invest time in you and them. Learn new skills, Overcome some real challenges. Overcome the habit of mindless consumption rather exercise your brains in developing and producing something new – something better. Let us connect for real we all!)