I saw a quote from Arianna Huffington a while ago.
The quote says: “At the moment, our society’s notion of success is largely composed of two parts: money and power. But it’s time for a third metric, beyond money and power – one founded on well-being, wisdom, our ability to wonder and to give back”.
It stopped me in my tracks, quite literally, and I sat for a good long while musing on the significance of what she said.
Imagine the world if it were full of giving and not taking.
Imagine a world where people took time to marvel at its wonders, and to ponder the beauty all around.
Imagine a world in which well-being and kindness were placed at the centre of everything.
That’s where I’d like my children to grow up.
Is it so far-fetched an idea to dream about, I wonder?
Might we arrive at some place resembling this ‘ideal’ place when a critical mass of us realise the need to look inside and, after these deep self-reflections, change our behaviours towards ourselves and, as a consequence, our behaviours towards others? Might we then, as a society, reach a point where we strive for a radically different understanding of success? A less selfish, more inclusive, understanding of success.
But it’s difficult to imagine.
We live in a world where its possible to be connected 24/7 to everything other. Whilst this has the potential to enable people to read about, see, and therefore understand anything that’s other, causing people to understand other, it hasn’t panned out like this; people mainly use this connectedness as a means to escape their own inner lives.
Candy Crush. FB. Endless hours lost. Forever.
Far from its potential benefits being used for collective good, this connectedness, instead, offers us ample opportunity for disconnecting with ourselves whilst offering little or no opportunity for true enrichment.
This leads to our inner selves becoming malnourished, foreign, a place we seldom travel to and rarely take the time to analyse or reflect upon. Which takes us further away from being likely to attempt to understand the other.
We seem, as a society, to have become so adept at avoiding our inner selves that we no longer know how to be alone. We can’t stand quiet time. We have to be connected to some device: the TV, our phones, the iPad, the computer.
People are so busy being so disconnected from their inner selves and their own needs that they even sleep with their phones, lest they miss something fundamentally important that might come in during their sleep time and so they can attend to whatever it is as soon as they wake up (prior to attending to the glory of the beginning of a new day or themselves).
In our desire to escape ourselves, by delving in to this 24/7 digital world, we also largely fail to connect with the people who surround us, other than our immediate friends and family. We’ve lost our connection to our local communities and rarely consider, let alone actively engage with, communities further afield.
This disconnect – to both ourselves and to the other – leads, sooner or later, to imbalances, both emotional and then physical and spiritual.
People aren’t meant to be isolated beings, our thoughts and time embroiled in a ceaseless, unrelenting, 24/7 digital rhythm of life.
We need time alone to reflect, to refine, to define our own thoughts, free of distractions, a process that’s important to keep our emotional well-being high.
Yet many of us simply don’t make that time.
And then we suffer.
I’m on my own journey to improve my own emotional well-being (which has turned out to be both interesting and revealing).
During this journey, I’ve been using some techniques to increase my sense of emotional well-being.
I’m going to be posting a series of posts about these techniques this week.
I hope you’ll join me to learn more about the five techniques I’ve used to help me reconnect with my inner self and, through this, to improve my overall emotional well-being: Quiet time; Journalling; Meditation; Self-reflection; Mindfulness.
I look forward to seeing you and hearing your thoughts!