In the space between unrealistic and paranoid, lies the possibility of being utterly realistic about what we can do and what will pull us out of balance or make a mess of our internal balance. In today’s fast-paced environment, one of the most important skills we can learn is filtering what comes into our awareness at any given time. Indeed, the amount of incoming information is mind-boggling to any normal human being and those who try to keep up with it, almost inevitably, end up burned out and ineffective. One of the things we must learn how to filter are interruptions to our concentration. In order to be our most productive, effective and creative, we must have blocks of time that allow us to quietly focus so we can accomplish our most important goals. But today, it’s almost dangerous to just react instead of proactively managing what comes in to our span of attention. If we just show up and let everything in, we could easily grow less able to produce high quality work. We must find ways to turn off our devices, go off the grid, decline meetings that are not crucial to our priorities, turn off the numerous stimulants like TV and social media streams. Instead, take a walk, get some fresh air, meditate, stand up and stretch once an hour and so on. Give yourself a break and plan time to accomplish realistic projects.
TILT 365 WEEKLY CHALLENGE: This week, I will notice what is realistic for me to accomplish and will filter out the noise of input very carefully.
Avoiding being Paranoid (Overuse):
If we become inundated by the noise, incoming information and interruptions of life with devices and technology, the risk is that we create a state of constant stress inside our bodies that is not that different than PTSD. If this happens and we don’t learn to guard and filter what comes in, our mind and body will react by producing too much cortisol. This puts our entire system and physiology in a constant state of fight or flight. Then when we get burned out or too tired to go on fighting, the next inevitable step is flight and escapism powered by fear. Then we become paranoid about our interactions with others and with any incoming stimulation. This can result in an oversensitivity to noise, interruptions, surprises, demands and so on. If repeated for too long, it can lead to a desire to retreat entirely. This can lead to temptations of escapism, even to excessive drinking, drugs and other pleasure seeking escapes that may not be healthy for us. The key is to FILTER carefully, giving yourself the space to guard and care for your peace of mind and well-being. In this way, you manage what goes into your mind space proactively, instead of fending for yourself reactively.
Commendable Trait: Realistic