Recently, I talked about the prevalence—and damage—of internet addiction in our society. Over-stimulation of our minds on a daily, even hourly basis can act as a major handicap to our creativity and mental focus. If we want to make an impact with our art, it’s important that we address this problem.
Lately, my husband and I have been taking steps to fight our own social media addictions. It’s just so easy to click over to Facebook—or worse, leave the tab open while attempting to work on other things. It’s frustrating and depressing to reach the end of the day, only to look back and realize that you did nothing but waste time, so today I want to talk about five simple, everyday habits you can employ to help fight internet addiction in your own life.
This world is noisy. Everywhere, every second, something is happening—and people are talking about it. News channels, YouTube, blogs, and social media blare into our lives at a constant rate. It’s almost as if silence—real, true silence—no longer exists.
In the past, I’ve talked about the purpose of beauty: the intrinsic value of the useless pursuit of Wonder and how it fills our spirits. We hunger for it, just as we hunger for peace and quiet in this age of constant noise. But life moves too quickly, it seems, whisking away silence in its crazy storm.
Some days creativity comes easier than others. It’s always nice when the stream is flowing and the words and colors and ideas are coming, but we all know it doesn’t last forever. Sometimes you don’t feel creative. Sometimes, you might even wonder if you’ll ever feel that way again.
When I was in high school, I focused all my spare energy on writing novels. I wrote and wrote and wrote; hundreds of thousands of words. And at first it was easy. But there came a time, shortly after I graduated when I stopped writing almost altogether. It was like the spark of passion I’d had had gone out.
Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve finally started dipping my toes back into the pool of writing fiction. I’m finally developing a story idea into a real book after more than a year of “absent creativity”—and at last, I had a revelation: my creativity hadn’t really been gone; it had merely been asleep, recharging.
When I was a teenager, my dream was to be a novelist. I would sit in my room at my desk for hours, plotting, writing, editing. The “life of a writer” consumed me. This was all I ever wanted: for it to be me, my characters, and my world. And of course, one day, a best-selling novel. But things didn’t quite work out that way.
We of the 21st century live incredibly cluttered lives. We’re busy, scattered, and often exhausted, trying to keep up with the commitments in our lives, whether it’s work, school, or social engagements. Even when we do have free time, it’s often spent distracted.
We’re conditioned to live at a fast pace; constantly hustling, impatient, and strained. Free time, while important, feels indulgent. With various things competing for our attention each day, it becomes difficult to focus—and sometimes focus is exactly what we need.
The word “simplicity” is a hot topic right now. It’s trendy. If you’re a minimalist, you’re part of the cool crowd, and you’re doing things right. And this is nothing against minimalists—I tend to be one myself, and I think it’s great—but if we define simplicity as synonymous with minimalistic, we’re missing the point.
Simplicity is not a “trend” to be attached to one specific “lifestyle”. It’s not about having less, or religiously shunning any type of privilege or convenience. It’s not a list of do’s and don’ts. It’s a lot simpler than that—really.
We live in a world that is constantly pushing for more—for us to do more, give more, or be more. As high achievers, this is a natural tendency, and a great trait. Aspiring to do and achieve your best is not something to be ashamed of, but today I want to talk about one little word that’s sometimes so hard for us to say: No.
In 2016, my focus was on generosity. I wanted to give more freely to more people. Now don’t get me wrong—generosity is a phenomenal trait with many benefits, and one I think we should all learn to cultivate. However, I made one mistake: I never said no.