Change Your Environment, Change Your Life

Are you a happy and relaxed person or are you too busy to even know?

Do you feel you need to be producing something every second of your day?

How about your outlook, can you see the silver lining to act appropriately in situations and events?

Change Your Environment, Change Your Life

Whether you use social networks for personal sharing or for business, there are so many tools (and new ones every day) that you could be tempted to try use them all.

You see others doing it — how do they do it, by the way? Seemingly cramming work that leads to successful launches every bit of spare time without missing a beat. And you want to follow suit, go where they go.

Doing more is appealing. Making things happen, or just plain making stuff provides satisfaction. It's a seductive thought process.

As long as we don't confuse reporting/reading/sharing the news with getting on with it.

Much of what we see is what we want to see or perceive about how others are so accomplished. Mostly by reacting to what they post in social networks.

Technology has made it easier — and in that sense faster — to post and share. It still takes time to sort through and create something worthy of attention.

Consuming media is not the same as processing information. They are the product of two very different environments and processes — both external and internal.


The stories that caught my eye this week are:


1Tim Kreider writes about The "Busy" Trap for the NYT Opinionator. It's a well written take on modern life in America and it hits close to home. Some salient parts:

Almost everyone I know is busy. They feel anxious and guilty when they aren’t either working or doing something to promote their work.

[…] his busyness was like some vast churning noise through which he was shouting out at me, and I gave up trying to shout back over it.

[…] It’s not as if any of us wants to live like this, any more than any one person wants to be part of a traffic jam or stadium trampling or the hierarchy of cruelty in high school — it’s something we collectively force one another to do.

Busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness; obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy, completely booked, in demand every hour of the day.

A good reminder also to be careful we don't find ways to sneak the 'productive' label onto filling every gap with stuff in fear of self-knowledge.


2Leo Babauta explains why killing time isn't a sin. And yes, technology does lull us into a false sense of security, that we can do at our heart's content.

There is a tendency among productive people to try to make the best use of every single minute, from the minute they awake.

[…] It might seem smart and productive to not let a single minute go to waste (they’re precious, after all), but let’s take a step back to look at the big picture.

[…] Killing time isn’t a sin — it’s a misnomer. We’ve framed the question entirely wrong. It’s not a matter of “killing” time, but of enjoying it.

Being in conversation in the present moment reveals opportunities that we may not see when we're busy making the best use of time every second.


3Jane Brody writes at the NYT about how to make optimism work for you providing a compelling example on how to respond to situations and events:

His approach to life could serve as a battle plan for the millions of recent college graduates now searching for work in an unforgiving job market, as well as for older adults trying to re-enter the workplace after a long hiatus and those who lost jobs and must now reinvent themselves.

[…] “Do it, then learn how — I guess if it’s good enough for the Marines…,” he wrote.

[…] After taking a class in screenwriting, Mr. Richmond wrote six more movies for Mr. Lewis, and followed that with 30 years as a professional comedy writer on countless TV shows before retiring at age 73. “The important thing,” Mr. Richmond said in an interview, “is to visualize what you want and go after it. Be ready for an opening — serendipity — all the time.”

Serendipity goes hand in hand with planning. Action makes a difference.


When we confuse reporting/reading/sharing the news with getting on with it we're like the lost generation of social media.  To the lost generation it might be important but not to history.

As my friend Peter says (no he's not an imaginary friend, by the way, he's real): far less thought goes into making history than remembering it.

And so it does.

Have a great weekend everyone.



Valeria is an experienced listener. She is also frequent speaker at conferences and companies on variety of topics. To book her for a speaking engagement click here.

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