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Enjoy the moment, not the gadget

15th Feb 20174m56s

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  • Nowadays, when I'm out and about, I see people constantly absorbed in the gadgets that they have with them. Their phones, iPads, Kindles, all sorts of things. And you see so many people just plugged in all the time, with their headphones, probably listening to music, a lot of people playing games, some people being productive, reading, maybe they're doing some shopping when they can get a signal or writing a message to somebody that they're gonna send once they get a signal. But a lot of people, and I've seen this so many times, just take their phone out, and they just start browsing the icons, the app icons, or they reread messages that they've already read previously. And I was thinking about this, and I realized that this has really become more prevalent over the last 10 years, as everyone's gotten ahold of smartphones. And the issue here is that if you wanted to strike up a conversation with somebody, it's difficult to do so sometimes because if they're completely plugged in, then you don't wanna disturb them. And maybe you know, and maybe you have a good reason to go and talk to them, right? I mean, maybe you're a guy, and you see someone you're interested in, and you wanna go and tell that person that. So how do you do that? And so, you end up having to just do it, and interrupt that person. Now, for the most part, people are very polite, and they assume you want help, and depending on your approach, if you have the right vibe about you, then you can do this. But in a general sense, I feel like we're all missing out on having these sorts of interactions and conversations with each other because we're so caught up with our gadgets. And I just see this happening increasingly more so. Now I know that cultures are different, so I could go to some other part of the world where people aren't doing this. But one thing I feel for sure is that as a place, and as people within a place get more and more used to having gadgets, and get more of these gadgets, this sort of behavior only increases. Because the thing is, nobody wants to sit still doing nothing, nobody wants to have nothing to do, nothing to occupy their mind with, and that's why they take their gadget out, and they play with it. 'Cause it means you don't have to be bored with whatever you're doing. And oftentimes, when you're taking public transport, particularly, there's nothing you can do. If it gets delayed, there's nothing you can do. And you know you have a fixed amount of time each day on your commute, so why not, right? And I've got no argument against people who want to be productive with that time. I mean, I sometimes do that, as well. And I even sometimes listen to music. But one thing that comes out of it is if you keep doing this all the time, then when are you ever getting an opportunity to simply enjoy the moment you're in, without having to do anything with your phone or with a person, you know, just being able to sit there and enjoy the moment? So one thing I'm trying to do is to give myself the opportunity to do that, and that means not taking my phone out for no reason. So if there's something I wanna read, there's something I wanna check out, music I wanna listen to, sometimes I'm in the mood to listen to music, then I do it. But if I don't have a particular mood or urge to do that, then I don't just take my phone out and just randomly browse what's on it. No, I just try and enjoy the moment I'm in. And this is actually an important element of meditation, because if you want to get better at that, you can't just practice when you're actually sitting to practice. You've gotta practice even at other moments, right? Especially in other moments, where you don't have a set task to do. Like if I tell you, enjoy the evening, you'd be like, sure, but how do I enjoy the evening? What do I have to do to enjoy the evening? What should I be listening to? What should I be paying attention to? But if I just say, just enjoy the evening, just enjoy it. Now this isn't my example, this is an example I got from, you know, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, and I think it's a good example. Because how many people can actually just enjoy the evening? How many people can actually just enjoy their commutes without having something to do? And I almost see it as a skill, being able to just enjoy a moment. I mean, not forever, obviously, but for a significant amount of time without having anything particular to do. Because if you can do that, then it means you are able to sit with your own thoughts, right? And sometimes we need to be able to sit with our thoughts in order to process them, in order to get to a deeper conclusion about a particular topic. Because if we can't do that, then we're essentially avoiding we could be avoiding some of our deeper thoughts, some issues that are bothering us. So this is something that I wanna encourage everyone to do. It's great to have your gadgets, it's great to have these time sinks, these escape latches or whatever you want to call them. But it's also great to be able to not need them at your will, to be able to choose to just enjoy the moment you're in, or not enjoy it but just to be in the moment you're in without having to resort to pulling your gadget out and playing with it.