After a very busy beginning of the year I showed up at SOBCon feeling like I had just rolled out of bed and forgot to brush my hair (I was well groomed but I wasn’t quite mindful). I had a million work and personal things on my mind, and enough electronic devices with me that, when I plugged in, the lights in Chicago dimmed. It was very tempting to read and respond to emails, tweet, facebook, Skype with mom (she actually tried to Skype with me during the conference), blog, play Angry Birds on the ipad while in the bathroom (ok I totally made this one up just to see if you’d read this far) and whatever other digital-age-knee-jerk-reaction-mindless-activity I get involved in.
And BOOM! Sessions start and Cathy Brooks tells us to close our laptops and our eyes! You can imagine how uncomfortable that was. The laptop part I mean. I think I squeezed my cell phone in my hand the whole time, like it was my lifeline.
In all seriousness, what followed shocked me out of that state I was in. That state where I felt like I had to do everything, right now, please everyone, right now, dream big and get there, right now, be perfect, right now! I started feeling that burden ease – starting with Cathy, who challenged us with, “will you get out of bed before you put your feet on the floor?” to Chris Guillebeau, who talked about contributing instead of consuming, to Tim Sanders who taught me that, “the moment you share, you are rich, because that’s the only moment you are worth something.”
That’s right. Give it a try. Close your laptops (after you read this, of course), close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and consider the thoughts of these wise people. Will the burden of those electronic devices ease, to where, when you choose to use them well they become much more powerful and purposeful tools?
Here are the notes I took, that took me… back… Back to mindfulness:
–Would you get out of bed before you put your feet on the floor? It’s like that when we just wake up and go to our mobile devices.
-Storytelling is what we do, how we relate to each other. Stories can educate, inform, englighten.
–Perception requires participation. Do you think before you tweet?
-Being thoughtful and mindful helps build trust.
Chris Guillebeau @chrisguillebeau, author of The Art of Non Conformity.
- What are you building?
- What are you trying to create?
- What are you excited about?
-Our lives become more meaningful when we combine our own desires with an active strategy to help others too
–Instead of efficiency consider adventure
–Think of what can we contribute instead of what can we consume
-How can we pursue a victory in how can we connect that with others, and make a contribution. This is what world domination is
-A leader empowers, offers opportunities for service, offers opportunity to be part of something
-Volunteers are often more excited and motivated than someone who is compensated, so give them that opportunity to help
-Don’t pretend to be fearless. There is this real thing called fear out there. Define it a bit more clearly. What are we really afraid of, what are you trying to do and what is the worst thing that can happen if you down that path
-4 ideas for how to keep moving forward [Not sure if I captured these right because I was so fascinated I couldn’t take notes well. But I hope I captured enough for you to be inspired too]:
- Feed your mind good stuff. Be just as judicious about what you put into your mind as about what you put into your mouth. Have you done a mind chart of what you give it as if it was a diet? The most expensive though it validation, you are not alone. It’s just as expensive as fear. Objectify failure and personalize success. You aren’t successful, you believe you are successful and act accordingl. Focus on the times you won. Before a performance re-live in HD a successful instance from your past.
- Exercise your gratitude muscle. It’s not a feeling it’s a muscle.
- Give to be rich.
- Prepare yourself. It will make you resilient when faced with adversity and proactive when shown opportunity.
-People who spend more time with online friends than family, they spend time in constant interruption which leads to depression – new economy depression syndrome.
-Check email only every 2 and 3 hours. People will learn and stop emailing you so much [tested this one already and IT WORKS!]
-Declare “offline zones” and defend them. Take your life back. You own technology it doesn’t own you.
-I don’t want to be that guy who cares more about the people who come through the phone than the people I’m with right now [can we give a standing ovation right now?]
-If you want to be good at what you do, every single day of your life , you need to live in a “get-to” world. I get to do these great things today. You don’t have to come here, you get to. I want you to do this in the first 5 minutes of your day. Do a gratitude exercise, think of 2 people who were good to me yesterday. And then think of someone today. You’re going to realize you’re not alone.
-Don’t think of people as lucky. That’s disrespectful [more standing ovations]
-Give to be rich. If you want to be a rich person, give love. The answer is love, the only word you need to know.
-Love to me is me wanting you to grow and not wanting you to suffer. Show love. In your final years that’s all you’re going to remember, the love stories. Regret will not be not making your rank on Amazon, it will be not loving enough. You’re only alive in the moment of giving and sharing.
-You’ve gotta create a ripple out there in the world and best way to do that is by giving through everything you do.
Now, the most revealing thing is, showing up at SOBCon feeling like an alien wasn’t how my day started, but I didn’t realize it until after this morning session. My day actually started with a total stranger giving me a tiny modular origami, pictured above. I was amazed and happy, but I very quickly went to my digital preoccupation. But it all came back after these incredible speakers. I had forgotten to be mindful even when faced with goodness. Never again.
Have you tried these tips? Will you try these tips? Please share your thoughts. 🙂