“Learning to ignore things is one of the great paths to inner peace.” – Robert Sawyer
We live in a world of constant information. We have emails, text messages, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Periscope, and a myriad of other ways to receive communications – literally walking around with us every single moment or every single day. We get beeped, pinged, alerted, pushed, and buzzed throughout the day and night. Some people have gone as far as to create “quiet hours” on their iPhone or Android devices to schedule 6-8 hours a time for uninterrupted sleep.
Think of the world our parents lived in . . . mail was delivered once a day by the US Postal Service, the phone was attached to a wall or sitting on a desk, and overnight was limited to Federal Express. When the previous generation left the proximity of a phone or mailbox, they left the influx of information. Vacations, walks in the park, or drives to an event were times of only personal communications.
I’m not advocating for unplugging or disconnecting from our world; it’s our reality. It is OUR world. I am advocating for balance and the ability to develop a new skill. The skill of prioritizing and ignoring. In order to find inner peace . . . in order to make time for ourselves . . . in order to be at our best . . . we must find ways to press pause in our own lives. We must decide that getting our mind right includes not taking on every problem, every situation, and every event immediately. “Learning to ignore things” is a skill – a skill we must all build.
Take some time today to reflect on your purpose, on what you value most, and use this as your guidepost. You can’t be everything to everyone unless you are at peace with yourself. Serving others, leading others, requires an inner core that builds skill and continually seeks balance.