Let’s face it. We’re all exhausted.
The century-old saying of “stop and smell the roses” is more vital than ever in 2014 save for one major difference: most of the Earth’s beauty is now shared on social media and not by a long walk through the park.
Let’s review and maybe you can fill in your own. Whatever happened to:
Letter-writing; private conversations on a phone with a cord on it; thank-you notes that actually have a stamp on them; holiday cards that actually have a stamp on them; greeting cards that actually have a stamp on them and with an actual handwritten greeting inside; morning visits to a neighbor to share a cup of coffee, Danish ring and some good gossip; making a mistake without 20,000 “friends” knowing about it; having two or three close friends instead of the seating capacity at Citi Field; waiting for the next day to find out what happened in the world overnight; curling up with the morning paper; curling up with a good paper book that you alone discovered; listening to music, one side at a time; being unreachable.
There are more examples where those came from but if you truly believe you’re better off being six inches away from a fire hose of information and multitasks, I don’t believe you. Humans simply weren’t made for this type of overload.
I have plenty of business and personal acquaintances who constantly remind me through social media of how hard they’re working. Yes, we are working hard, but to what end? As an entrepreneur, I readily admit that we must play the social media game in some fashion. But you will never convince me that presence has replaced genuine passion.
As an adjunct professor, I often tell my students that to get to where they want to be they need to do three things: Follow their passion, make lots of mistakes and don’t ever lose your human qualities.
Like a child who first learns how to walk, no one can reach their personal goal without falling on their butt many times over. After all, it’s important to know what not to do, or what you don’t want. How else can we learn that without trying and failing at it? And then, as you fail your way to your personal goal (and that could mean anything, not necessarily a king’s riches) make sure you don’t repeat those mistakes, do the right thing all the time and follow your passion and personal talents. Once you have that down, if personal wealth is a goal, you have a pretty good shot of getting there (meaning that it’s best not to have personal wealth as a goal — that will probably follow).
But does that mean we have to kill ourselves or bully others to get there? Or immerse ourselves in so many mind-numbing devices and tasks that we lose our most basic human qualities, the most precious gift of all?
Let’s not forget what Marley said to Scrooge on his deathbed: “There’s still time.”