What 5 things did you learn today?

Do you rely on your news feed to expand your perspective and provide you with knowledge and wisdom? If so, I suggest you proceed cautiously. First, unless you carefully subscribe to friends, pundits, bloggers and tweeters that will only provide you with opinions and perspectives you already understand and agree with, your news feed may potentially lead to severe confusion, and possibly even a slight eye or lip twitch. Examples…  

5 benefits of having a morning routine ….Uncertainty will POWER your day...Be AGILE or Be Gone…EMBRACE CHAOS STRUCTURE…Innovation is not possible without failureWill your VC tolerate failure?Experience before design10 ways design can create your experienceMillennials will save the 21st Century8 reasons Millennials won’t own the 21st Century…OPEN WORK SPACEPersonal FLOW and FOCUS declining.[1]

Second, newsfeed items are great bytes of quick and easy info; but they are no match for true research knowledge and wisdom. Most items in your feed combine an opinion or two, along with some facts; carefully wrap them up into 140 characters or less and hook it up to a link that will provide everything you need to know in less than 1000 words…some subscriptions required…95%[2] of those who have one of those opinions are more than willing to give it away – just like me.

This is possible because just as many of us are willing to take it…and Why not? How else can we keep pace with the world and accelerate our acquisition of knowledge, wisdom and experience? How will you be able to demonstrate that you are most definitely in tune with the latest buzz? Your news feed may be a great gateway to different pockets of information, but there are much richer, more valuable methods to get in tune.

Let me give you my opinion…

LISTEN…step back, close your mouth and listen. Listen to yourself, your experience, your instinct. Listen to a mentor, a parent, a friend. Listen to a lecture or podcast. Listen to a speech from a great orator, a respected figure, a local politician. Stop and listen to your partner, your child…listen.

READ…more than your news feed. Rediscover your local library, or sign up for Safari Books, or surf Amazon; go on in and browse through your local book store (big box or used store, I guarantee you’ll find something). Read an autobiography, a how to book, an old classic or the latest best seller. Read more than the limited information provided in your news feed that may eliminate verbosity, but also limits true understanding and experience…read.

EXPERIENCES…do something different. Take a hike, take a course unrelated to anything you really need to know about. Drive a scenic route. Volunteer at the local shelter, a home for the abused, or read to children. Walk to a park, bake something, or write a story. Speak in public on something that interests you; join a Meetup. Pick a random experience and try it. There really is no down-side or anything to lose. But there sure is a lot to gain.

BREATHE…breathe and make space in your mind; limit the noise. Even if it is only for a short period – 5 to 10 minutes a day if possible. Teach yourself to quiet your mind, remove yourself from the fray and reset. You consume so much, in so many different ways every day; create that space to stop and only focus on your breathing. Carefully feeling the air enter and leave your body. Re-energize, relax, and release yourself from the strains of the day, refreshing your mind to allow it to clearly accept what comes next…breathe.

Supplement your newsfeed consumption with each of the activities above, and prepare to have your perspective expanded beyond anything you thought possible. And for those of you who already practice the activities above, I would like to offer a few opinions to close out this article:

  • Millennials, Gen X’ers, Baby Boomers …whatever…are people. People with needs, a history, passions, likes, dislikes, interests, responsibilities, fears etc. They are NOT all the same. Allow PEOPLE the courtesy and respect of getting to know who they are before you accept or deny them.
  • Sometimes collaborative space is the answer to what drives progress; sometimes it is not. Whatever you choose, I believe we all need some time, in a quite space, to focus and explore our intuition or learn all by ourselves.
  • Routines are great when trying to build lasting habits – but there is nothing wrong with shaking it up once in a while and trying something new.
  • I agree that to innovate you have to break some eggs…but you can’t screw up all the time. If you do, maybe you need to try something else.

I’ll let you figure the rest out for yourself…in the meantime, thanks for listening.

[1] I just made these up

[2] I just made this up too

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