Several months back, I read something about how we've become a society that is so obsessed with documenting [ twitter, taking photos, fb statuses, blogging, twitpic, moleskins in your pocket ] what we experience, that the documentation has become the experience, and not the experience. This has haunted me to the point of guilt, and I've finally decided to make a conscious effort to document less.
Quality, not quantity. I've felt so pressured to churn out quality en masse - and if you're human, you just can't do it. I've cut off 95% of my creative outlets for awhile to teach myself this lesson. The world won't stop if I do. I've taken a little bit of time to watch the world, instead of the world being forced into watching me. Quality will come back, per elimination of quantity.
Elizabeth Gilbert wrote an excerpt for the book What Matters Now (you need to read this, by the way - it's a free eBook here) that's worth sharing:
We are the strivingest people who have ever lived. We are ambitious, time-starved, competitive, distracted. We move at full velocity, yet constantly fear we are not doing enough. Though we live longer than any humans before us, our lives feel shorter, restless, breathless...
Dear ones, EASE UP. Pump the brakes. Take a step back. Seriously. Take two steps back. Turn off all your electronics and surrender over all your aspirations and do absolutely nothing for a spell. I know, I know – we all need to save the world. But trust me: The world will still need saving tomorrow. In the meantime, you’re going to have a stroke soon (or cause a stroke in somebody else) if you don’t calm the hell down.
So go take a walk. Or don’t. Consider actually exhaling. Find a body of water and float. Hit a tennis ball against a wall. Tell your colleagues that you’re off meditating (people take meditation seriously, so you’ll be absolved from guilt) and then actually, secretly, nap.
My radical suggestion? Cease participation, if only for one day this year – if only to make sure that we don’t lose forever the rare and vanishing human talent of appreciating ease.
Also, a challenge from Rajesh Setty:
The Litmus Test: If you are truly enriching someone’s life, they will typically miss you in their past. They think their lives would have been even better if they had met you earlier.