Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp – Wat sien ons nie raak nie?
“You can’t see what you can’t see.” Hierdie is een van my gunsteling aanhalings. Ek dink dis omdat dit die realiteit bevestig dat ons eenvoudig nooit ten volle bewus kan wees nie – nóg van die hart en motivering agter ons denke en gedrag, nóg van ons interpretasie van die realiteit waarbinne ons leef. Wat met ander woorde gebeur is dat ons soms terugkyk op ons spoor en dán iets raaksien wat ons tot op hede gemis het. Ons kon dit eenvoudig nie vroeër sien nie.
Ek wonder dikwels wat dit is that we can’t see wanneer dit kom by die invloed wat sosiale media het op ons persoonlike en professionele lewens; op ons produktiwiteit, ons groei, ons fokus, ons fisie, intellektuele, emosionele en geestelike energie, die kwaliteit van ons verhoudings, ens. Wat sien ons nie raak nie? Maar dan wonder ek ook: is die realiteit van sosiale media nie al lank genoeg met ons dat ons kan terugkyk en ’n paar tendense begin raaksien nie? Dit is immers ook waar dat ons deur refleksie, nadenke en gesprek meer bewus kan word van die dinge wat ons nie op die oomblik helder sien nie.
Hieronder volg ’n artikel wat jou gedagtes hieroor kan stimuleer en gesprekke hieroor kan bevorder. Dit laat jou ook met ’n kreatiewe voorstel oor hoe om balans in jou lewensritme te behou. Hierdie voorstel mag dalk op die oog af lyk na ’n stukkie how-to advies, maar ek dink die gepaste respons op die uitdaging wat sosiale media bied gaan presies dít behels – kreatiewe, praktiese, haalbare en volhoubare inisiatiewe. Hierdie voorstel laat geweldig baie ruimte vir toepassing binne die raamwerk van Christelike spiritualiteit.
– André Serfontein is Spanleier by SG.
The PRESENT principle
by Claire Diaz-Ortiz
Human beings have always had to cope with seasons of intense stress—political upheavals, major life changes, family tragedies, daily dramas, and even positive, planned events, such as weddings and births. Throughout history, our bodies’ stress reactions have helped us respond wisely to short periods of acute pressure. But in the last two decades, brief episodes of stress have become longer and more frequent (and more damaging), aggravated by our on-demand, all-access digital reality.
When we’re always connected, we allow others—colleagues and celebrities, close friends and distant acquaintances, bloggers and news aggregators—to set our life’s agenda. Our ability to prioritize is paralyzed by the sheer volume of requests, demands, opportunities, and information. As a result, productivity or creativity (or both) suffer, and work casts a longer, darker shadow over the rest of our lives. In recent Barna Group research, a minority of us (42%) claims satisfaction with work/life balance. And even fewer of us say we’re satisfied with the level of stress in our lives (28%) or the amount of rest we’re getting (39%).
In Finding Rest When the Work Is Never Done, Patrick Klingaman recalls the predictions his generation heard as youngsters that, by the turn of the twenty-first century, the digitization of the American workforce would create a leisure class who worked just twenty to thirty hours a week. Futurists worried and wondered: What would people do with their time? How would the American character change as a result? As we all know, this reality did not materialize. Constant connection, it turns out, means Americans never stop working.
Productivity enhancers or ever-present distractions—either way, our technology is changing our routines. And our lives are thrown further out of whack every time we choose an empty information fix over life-giving activities such as exercise, reflection, and meditation as well as quality face-to-face time with loved ones. The results are bad for all—and disastrous for some because the harmful consequences of life imbalance are becoming more common and more extreme. In the Barna research, a full 12% report having experienced a severe mental or physical collapse due to overwork or stress. And given that just 16% point to physical illness as the primary cause of our distress, we must at least consider the possibility that our unrelenting connectedness, our habitual “mainlining” of data, has led to a viral outbreak of overwhelm that has infected our minds and hearts.
This isn’t the life you and I were meant to live.
What can you do? How can you reap the best of technology’s blessings without suffering the worst of its curses? Is it even possible to find peace, rest, and that ever-elusive balance in a world of greater and greater expectations?
The first, and by far the most important, step you can take toward a sustainable and successful life—enhanced instead of dominated by digital tools—is to begin every day by creating a buffer of mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. Mornings set the course of your day. Even in stressful seasons, you can increase your ability to cope well by using your morning routine to build up reserves of peace and mental clarity that will see you through the craziest of circumstances.
Whether you’re an early or late riser, setting aside quiet time first thing will put you in the driver’s seat of your day. The truth is, you have more control than you might think. Sure, you can’t control each and every event that rears its head—but you, and only you, are in control of your responses to those events. Self-control is easiest to exert in the morning, before the day’s demands wear down your defenses. By growing your margin of peace early on, you’ll end the day with well-being to spare.
By leading your morning, you lead your life.
My days used to get away from me. Between morning iPhone pillow time and nightly iPhone pillow time, I zigzagged through my days without rhyme or reason, plugging important and not-so-important activities into random time slots until my fifteen (or sixteen or eighteen) hours of waking life were spent. It was ineffective and exhausting, and I was a mess. I needed to make some changes—pronto.
I’m a fan of acronyms. They help me organize my thoughts and intentions and make it more likely I’ll actually do what I’ve decided in advance is important. I have used what I now call the PRESENT Principle for years—seven actions I take every day to help me live in healthy balance. Each of these actions help me widen my margin of mental, spiritual, and physical well-being. Together, the first four steps constitute my morning practice, while I usually do the last three later in the day.
P = Pray (or Pause, or Peace)
R = Read (something life-giving)
E = Express (everything that’s on your mind; write it all down)
S = Schedule (all of your tasks for the day and the week— include the nagging little stuff)
E = Exercise (anything that just gets you moving)
N = Nourish (with an activity that inspires and feeds you)
T = Track (where you’ve been and what you’ve done today and adjust your plan for tomorrow)
When I wake in the mornings, I often remind myself that practicing this routine is a present. Each day, I give myself a gift by setting aside time and attention to cultivate my soul. The PRESENT Principle is a powerful way to proactively organize, or “visioneer,” my day for balance and protect myself from the creeping virus of overwhelm.
Claire Diaz-Ortiz is an author, speaker and Silicon Valley innovator who has been named one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company. Claire was an early employee at Twitter, Inc. where she continues to work. Follow Claire: @Claire
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