Nearly 17% of Americans will experience major depression in their lifetimes, according to data from the National Institutes of Health. Weil believes that data overload may be largely to blame. Data is slim, he says, but notes that a 2005 Swedish study found heavy use of communications technology — your smartphone, your iPad, your computer — to be associated with feelings of stress, sleep problems and symptoms of depression in young adults.
So, in a world of unlimited data plans, Weil suggests capping your flow. It’s not easy — there’s a reason the term “Crackberry” has appeared in our modern lexicon — but Weil, noting his own battle with depression, describes three “resolute actions” to wean yourself from the digital data pipe. These behaviors “freed me to pursue more restorative activities, especially spending time in natural settings. My mind is clearer, my attention span longer and my real (as opposed to virtual) friendships closer,” Weil writes.
» via Time
Every time we don’t say sorry first and end the stalemate, we are losing time. Every time we focus on our regrets, we lose time. Whenever you look in the mirror and judge yourself a failure, you are losing time. Strangely, this made me think of golf balls.
There is not one golf ball in the world that judges itself a failure. Sometimes they land in the hole. Other times, they get lost in the woods. But they are still primarily the same object. The same is true for you. Failure is something about a moment. Failure is a great thief of time. Learn. Embrace your learning. Move. Time only goes in one direction, and that’s away from you.
“‘Control your exit?’” I asked blankly. “What exactly does that mean?”
“It means, always be able to leave when you want. Drive yourself to a party instead of getting a ride, so you can leave when you’re ready. Try to go to someone else’s house, or a public place, instead of having people over to your house, because there’s nothing worse than seeing someone lean back and cross their legs when you’re ready to go to bed. Or else have people over to your house before some event – before a dinner reservation or a movie – so you have to leave by a certain time.”This resolution struck me as a slightly anti-social resolution, but I could see the sense of it. […]
I sometimes teach classes on writing, during which I tell my students every single thing I know about the craft and habit. This takes approximately 45 minutes. I begin with my core belief—and the foundation of almost all wisdom traditions—that there is nothing you can buy, achieve, own, or rent that can fill up that hunger inside for a sense of fulfillment and wonder. But the good news is that creative expression, whether that means writing, dancing, bird-watching, or cooking, can give a person almost everything that he or she has been searching for: enlivenment, peace, meaning, and the incalculable wealth of time spent quietly in beauty.
Then I bring up the bad news: You have to make time to do this.
We all have our own standards of excellence. Some people’s bars are set higher than others. We also have different priorities and what motivates me to put in 100% won’t necessarily be the same for you. Whatever your own standard of excellence is in your work – whatever you passionately believe in doing – that’s what you should be true to. Be yourself. Don’t stop volunteering for things just because some of your colleagues’ standards of excellence are lower than yours or their priorities are different. Your measuring stick for your own achievement should be based on what you want to achieve, not how much or little other people are doing.
We’ve all seen how Twitter can play an unprecedented role in world events and in news communication. But on a very personal, routine level, there are several (other) ways in which Twitter can boost your happiness. After all, is it just a coincidence that a blue bird is both the symbol for happiness and the symbol for Twitter? Probably yes, I know, but still, it’s a happy coincidence.
I find Twitter is a great way to keep up with other librarians and news in the field, as well as stay in touch with former coworkers and online friends. I also subscribe to quite a view blogs via RSS, but Twitter brings in more article recommendations from more diverse sources as well as up-to-date news.
Most importantly, I’ve learned that I can ignore my feed when I need to get stuff done, and come back to it when I have time. It’s not like IM, where if you ignore a message you’re pissing someone off. Perhaps I’m the only one that took a while to realize that, but figuring that out helped me fit Twitter into my workday much better. :)
While I’m not familiar with his stance on anything, the Archbishop of Canterbury seems cool. And mentioning libraries in his Easter sermon? (If you click through to the full speech -which I highly recommend- he refers to Doctor Who, as well.) Now that’s awesome. :D
… Focusing on what is good in your life right now and what good could possibly happen in the future won’t stop bad things from happening but it can make you happier and healthier in the moment.
Trying to focus on the good has helped me get through some tough stuff in my personal life. It’s still hard to have crap happen, but it’s a little easier to carry on with each day if I am appreciative of all the things that are good in life. Of course, your mileage may vary.