While I don’t make New Year resolutions, I used to follow a practice suggested by Chris Brogan of choosing three words to focus on over a year. Lately, I find a number of issues recurring and have selected three as my focus words for 2024, issues which I believe we will be forced to address sooner or later:
Is measurement an unhealthy obsession in our society? Heart rate, running performance, social media reach, calories, daily schedules, sleep times – we measure so much that doesn’t need measuring. While numbers are useful, they are not always essential and can be a burden. We don’t live life to the fullest when we ignore the experience to focus solely on numerical targets and we apply unnecessary extra pressure on ourselves when we already have so many to withstand.
Quality invariably outweighs quantity, so I’ll be keeping a tally for fewer activities this year.
Life has been brutal throughout history and still is for many today. Those of us who enjoy the riches of easy access to shelter, food and comfort have a responsibility to appreciate living what most who have ever lived would call a dream life. So why do we choose to create so much unhappiness, so much strife, so much spite?
Undoubtedly, online communication fuels spite. It is too easy to throw an insult, humiliate or trample someone online, which few would have courage enough to replicate face to face, looking an individual in the eyes.
It is possible to dislike something or disagree civilly. Which is why I aim to be kind.
Alive. When we do something real. It is intriguing how, as virtual living increases, so apparently does an opposing obsession with extreme real experiences: climbing Everest, cold water swimming, ultra-demanding endurance activities. Why the extremes? Is it because online, virtual life is so detached and empty that such activities are sought to compensate for this? Is there a significant imbalance? I’ll observe this more, but now intuition suggests to me that living more of a solid existence might help resolve this, which is not easy as new technologies rapidly embed themselves in daily life.
I have learnt through experience, especially when souls are ill or dying, that the value of sheer physical presence – without movement, speech or other distraction – is phenomenal: more fulfilling than anything else I have ever known.
These three words – Immeasurable – Kind – Solid – remind me what remarkable resources and opportunities we have available to us now but that it is not mandatory for us to adopt anything simply because it is new. It is important to manage all resources and opportunities responsibly so that they benefit rather than damage us.