Recall something you learned, discovered, found out in the last one month since the start of the new year.  I remember when the word ‘awesome’ became popular, I heard this word blurted out by many that we suddenly had an epidemic of the word awesome (I’m not against using the word, I was hoping for a lot more awesomeness spreading instead).  I knew someone who overdosed on beta carotene. Her grandmother went blind when she was a little girl.  Later, she learned how good carrot are for the eyes that she ate carrots every day at every meal, for years. Then she noticed her skin overtime turning orange.  Her doctor commissioned a test and found out that she overdosed on beta carotene.  It took her years to detox that pigment out of her system.

As humans, we tend to overdo, overconsume, overuse something we like.  It may be because we want to learn more of and get used to this new thing in our life.  Then we get carried away with what it does for us — the comfort, the convenience, and the efficiency of it. We then become dependent on it.

If we take inventory of the many valuable and important things humans have invented and marketed for the advancement of humankind, there are always direct or indirect side effect of each of them.  When the product was invented, there was an opportunity the inventor wanted to take advantage of.  Then the market embraced it, used it, relied on it, and later abused it.  Let’s just zero in on one of the techno gadgets we’re nowadays dependent on every day – smartphone.  How many times have you seen someone walk while looking at his smartphone then make a fool of himself?  I’m sure we can make a discernment process on it; weighing the good and bad impacts of it in our life. We can list how much our lives have been assisted since the arrival of this smart thing.  It has replaced and combined the job of so many tools into one – landline phone, camera, notebook, email, tape recorder, CD, radio, even TV and movie theater, credit card, business card, it’s just endless. Everything is on our hand now. On the other hand, the side effects it creates are many.  It both connects and disconnect people.  It brings people together, and it takes them apart as well. The same goes with social media platforms that are mushrooming around us.

What should we do?

Invention continues. We just need to be aware of not abusing the next best thing that comes round.  Marketers are allowed to sell products and make money, but they also have a responsibility to educate the masses.  Just like anything else in life, whether it’s food, work, hobby, exercise, admiration, money, and everything else, too much of it may make us suffer in the end. By pouring our attention on one thing, we deprive ourselves of other things, we miss the goodness of others that are as beneficial for our livelihood. Balancing the two is an act we need to master. Getting rid of or stopping something abruptly may not be easy once we’re dependent on it.  Pushing it away makes us crave it even more, then later we will binge on it.

Here’s one thing you may want to consider, how about adding a few things that you enjoy doing? Start exploring those so they have a place in your mind and space, which eventually can balance your attention.  Do it with a buddy or a community, it’s more fun to be on a journey of exploration with someone else.  Notice what’s going on within you when you’re reaching out for your smartphone instead of conversing with someone you know who’s right in front of you.  Is reaching out for your smartphone a mindless action, or is it a reflection of something that’s separating you from the person in front of you, or others?  Only you can answer this.  Just know, too much of something is never good, because it deprives you from something else that may bring you joy.  I invite you explore it.

#unplug #connect #healthyexploration #livingyourinspiredlife #ingemaskun