UNPLUGGED: the first known use of the word was in 1968, in reference to music recorded with acoustic rather than electrically amplified instruments. These days, it means to refrain from using digital or electronic devices for a period of time.
Being on the other side of the world makes one think differently. Or at least it did me. Part of this had to do with the fact I was traveling alone, and had extremely limited access to the typical electronic communications gadgets I am accustomed to using. This was simultaneously nerve wracking and liberating. The stressful part had more to do with always feeling like I have to be plugged into the pulse of the world. The liberation came from being able to ignore what is going on – at least for a period of time. Being 15 hours ahead of most of my family and friends also presented some rather interesting challenges and outcomes. They were all worth it.
One of the best results of limited access to world events is that it forced me to ask others, to pick up a newspaper, or simply not knowing.
When you are able to unplug from the day-to-day distractions life offers, you are more willing to consider doing things you might not normally do. One is to get out and talk to people. Yes, actually strike up a conversation and perhaps meet a future friend. The fact I was traveling alone and had years of practice of doing this made it a bit easier for me to be comfortable with this tactic. The truth is, I find it actually to be refreshing.
During my trip, I was essentially unplugged for more hours than I am typically in the know. During this down time, I had the opportunity to do some new things, see some sights and meet people I never would have met had I been tethered to my gadgets and Wi-Fi connection.
One new friend was building a development on one of the Fiji Islands. He had been patiently waiting for five years for his paperwork to be approved so he could start the actual building process. He was now in the early construction phase, and anticipates opening his resort late next year. I never would have connected with this man if I had not met and agreed to have dinner with two people I became friends with earlier in the week.
When you take the time to unplug from the rest of the world, it also changes how your mind starts to process information. You begin to think through scenarios with an entirely new level of clarity and detail. This happens because you are not constantly distracted by all of the interruptions which either you allow to enter into your thought process by perhaps a simple “click” on a link, or because you switch between your gadgets to see what they might offer you from an information perspective.
Sometimes people tell me they are becoming less able to concentrate and potentially feel like they might have attention deficit issues. I personally think the gadgets have caused more people to feel like they cannot concentrate. However, when you allow yourself to get away from them, you become amazed at how your concentration levels improve.
Some people are too quick to depend on medication to help them to have better focus, and we know the medication only provides a temporary solution. Yes, it’s my opinion, but who really wants to take more medication? Aggh, no one is the answer, contrary to what the pharmaceutical companies want you to do.
The good news is that there is potentially and more simple, non-pharmaceutical solution.
Are you ready to take on the challenge of unplugging?
Perhaps it will require some planning, but the results could be worth the effort. Don’t deny yourself the opportunity to experience a whole new world – if only for 30 minutes, or half a day. . . or a week . . . Just think of the possibilities!
I highly encourage you to take on this challenge experiment. I would love to hear what happens to you when you attempt to unplug, and then have success in doing so. I know you can do it, so don’t deny yourself the opportunity to experience a whole new world. Think of the possibilities of what will be unfolding in front of your very eyes, and the new people, experiences and things you will see. Mine were seeing a Mongoose, taking a mud bath, meeting an art dealer and General Manager of an incredible resort, and learning many new rules associated with the game of Rugby.
Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me Too. She is a Gallup Certified Strengths Finder Coach, author of Wisdom Whisperer, and is a well-respected motivational and social influencer with a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances.
Essentially every team is dysfunctional in some way. Our expertise is in uniting, motivating and bridging dysfunctional teams (sports & business), and turning them into epic ones.
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