Stop Sharing. Start Listening (To Yourself)

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There’s a new trend taking shape: listen and think.

Maybe it’s not so much a “new trend,” as it is a reboot of something well-worn and well-known. There’s an ad that is gaining viral buzz and mass attention, this past week. It’s from Nike. They want you to get out there and run more (no surprise). So, how do they deliver a message like this in a world where’s we’re not only obsessed with those smartphones in our pockets, but we’re also training with these devices (and others) to track, share and optimize our exercise? Is it so binary? Can we exercise without the technology? Are we truly wasting time trolling the Facebook feed, when we should be “out there” making ourselves better and experiencing more than we’re currently consuming? What if I told you that we could be wasting more than thirty years of our life thumbing through (mostly) useless information in social media that (mostly) makes us feel inferior, or like we’re not accomplishing enough with our own lives? This is what Nike’s ad is telling us.

Take a look: Nike – Time Is Precious.

At the same time, famed author and thinker, Neil Pasricha, is back with a brand new TEDx Talk called, How do you maximize your tiny, short life? Neil has led an incredible life and career. He is the New York Times bestselling author of The Book of Awesome and The Happiness Equation. His books have been published in over a dozen languages, spent seven years and counting on bestseller lists, and sold millions of copies. Yes, millions of copies. Neil is a Harvard MBA and spent a decade running Leadership Development at Walmart. He is one of the most popular TEDx speakers of all time, and he had an idea for a new TED Talk that was less about the “talk” and more about the “listen.” Quiet. He asks these really important life questions… and then thinks about the answers to these questions. In silence. The way he asks the questions… and the huge amounts of space and silence in between will encourage (or force) you to answer these questions for yourself. It’s mesmerizing. 

Take a look: How do you maximize your tiny, short life? – Neil Pasricha – TEDxToronto.

What do you do with your time?

The Nike ad and Neil Pasricha’s TEDx Talk reminded me of something very important: stop rushing and start thinking. Obvious to you? How often do you really do this? The ad and the talk made me realize just how much faster life has become for me. The ad and the talk made me realize how life has – without question – gotten in the way of personal time for growth, silence and reflection this past year. Maybe it’s the pending Holidays (and the break that comes along with it). Maybe it’s just the speed with which lives and information are being shared at scale. Whatever the cause, within these two pieces of content, there is a re-think moment for me. Quiet, listening, deep thinking and focus. These aren’t just words that should be easily tossed around. They are actionable and valuable opportunities.

Time to take the time to advantage of them. No need to wait for a New Year’s Resolution to make that happen.