Visionary Pursuits

What this doesn't mean...

The implication of all this could sound exhausting. Am I saying, "don't ever watch TV?" or "give up your gadgets?" Of course not! No one can go at 100% all the time. We all need rest. What I am arguing for is purposeful rest. Look at the word recreation... re-creation. It is a time to create yourself anew. When you're sitting zoned-out in front of that TV, are you becoming refreshed and renewed? Well, answer this... what do you enjoy more: going out to a movie for a couple hours, or watching TV all evening? If you're like most people, you prefer the movie. Why? Because it's a purposeful choice. It's a break. It's not turning yourself into a mind-numbed zombie till you no longer realize even what it is you're watching.

Let me give you an example from my own life. Looking forward to dinner with my girlfriend after a long workday once, I instead walked in on her swearing and actually throwing things at the TV. (Thank goodness she'd only progressed to pillows so far!) I asked her what was wrong, and she went on a tirade about the stupid spoiled 16 year olds on a show called My Super Sweet 16. Trying to be logical, I innocently asked, "if it makes you so angry, why are you watching it?" "Because there's a marathon on!" Then she threw a pillow at ME for my ridiculous question.

Of course, the question didn't seem so ridiculous the next day, when I brought it back up. I actually convinced her to cancel the cable TV service and instead get a membership to a service like Netflix. Then she could watch whatever she wanted when she wanted, without commercials or having to wait through shows she didn't really care about. Within a matter of days she was happier, had more energy, and of course was saving about $70 a month over the cable bill. She was choosing her recreation, instead of letting it control her.

That's just one example. Did you know that curtailing just these few activities can yield years of extra usable life and productivity while making you happier and healthier? Let's move on to the exercise to find an area you can challenge yourself in.