I try to be a very objective person these days. Practices like meditation and mindfulness have given me the ability to look at my incoming thoughts and think “that’s funny, I wonder where that particular thought is coming from?”
I think about why I’ve become so much of a ‘hippie’ in the past couple of years. Why have I become obsessed with van lifers, tiny home builders, and ashram dwellers?
What happened to the Jersey boy who went to any Ivy League school and was destined to become an investment banker or management consultant?
What happened to the kid who wanted to own a big house and desperately wanted to buy a Beemer?
If I take a step back I notice that my story is not unlike many others in my generation.
There is a reason that “The Daily Stoic” is a NY Times Bestseller.
There is a reason “HeadSpace” is one of the fastest growing apps in the world.
There is a reason “Minimalism- A Documentary About the Important Things” has resonated with so many people.
We live in an interesting time. As technology expands our opportunities for growth and connection to unparalleled heights we seem to be looking for more human ways to achieve the same outcome.
Why is this? What about my story resonates with so many?
The answer is backed in science. The answer, the reality, is that our increasing dependence on technology to function in modern day life is changing our biology. It’s changing the way we see the world- making us addicted.
And when people consciously know that they are becoming addicted it’s only natural that they would want to escape that cycle.
I’ve lived a number of different lives since graduating from college in 2012.
I’ve been an unsuccessful entrepreneur that had to go home to live with his parents and answer questions of why I didn’t have a job.
I’ve been a top salesperson at one of the fastest growing advertising companies in the world.
I’ve been a meditator that sat for 8 hours a day for an entire 10 days.
And now I’m someone who is trying to combine all of those experiences into something beautiful.
If life is about balance, I’m still trying to figure it out. But I can unequivocally say that the Paul who meditates twice a day, stays away from caffeine, and spends time in nature is a pretty chill Paul.
The Paul who spends hours a day checking to see how many likes his photo got or obsessively waiting for a text back from a girl he was crushing on is another version- one that I want to move away from.
The difficulty arises when that second Paul becomes a bit of a necessity for surviving in a world where one’s presence online is an indication of their self worth.
While I’d like to spend my days in peace I realize that Social Media is a tool that connects me with other like minded individuals. The danger is that I know it’s addicting and I know it’s dangerous.
I’m still trying to figure it out- but it’s complicated.