Some time ago, I attended a seminar, which wasn’t supposed to be about personal growth (it was meant to be rather technical), but ended up having more personal growth content than anything else. Unlike others in the room, I was pretty happy about it.
This seminar took place in a big room and each participant had to bring a laptop in order to do the various technical exercises, so in front of every person, there was a bright screen, glowing in the overall darkness of the room. During presentations, people couldn’t keep from using their computers – they checked their emails, chatted with friends (some even in the same room), typed their notes and various other things.
But, like I said, much of the presentation content was about personal growth, particularly with respect to operating a business. Obviously, no computers were needed for that. At some point, one of the presenters even asked everyone to close their laptops and interact, make lists and so on. Yet, some laptops stayed open, and over time, more and more were opened and their owners went back to their email checking, document editing and God knows what else.
Eventually, the main speaker came on stage and said to everyone, “You know, the presenters here today are giving you information you cannot find anywhere else on the planet. Some of you have flown here from other cities and paid for hotel accommodations, flights and other things. One of the key messages of this seminar is ‘focus’, and you are letting your laptops control your life”.
There was a very unpleasant silence in the room. He went on, “If you think about it, everything you have on this laptop can wait. You can configure your email to send and receive only when you choose, and you can choose not to do it. You can log out of your chat program and Messenger and IP telephone. You can close the cover of your laptop and it will stop showing you pictures and making sounds at you.”
“More than this”, he continued, “You can turn off you mobile phones, which some of you have been using in the middle of presentations to send SMS messages on. And when you go back home, you can turn the TV off and you can turn your stereo system off and you can even close the door, if that’s what you need in order to FOCUS on getting what you want out of life.”
Because having a laptop computer or a blackberry or a mobile phone can make you feel really important. A TV or a computer can keep you interested and even busy for hours and hours. But if you want to finish the important things in life and get RESULTS, you need to control all of these devices, rather than letting them control you.
All of your software, your computer, you mobile phone and your TV have an “off” button, so you can turn them off when you want. Having them on and paying attention to them is YOUR CHOICE, so remember that every minute away from what’s important is also your choice, and you are free to choose differently!