Distractions are everywhere pulling our attention away from what’s important to us.
In this episode, the guys look at what it means to be truly present, why that’s important, and how to navigate a world that is getting increasingly sophisticated at highjacking our focus.
Show Notes for Episode 20
Lots of great content in this episode so we hope you enjoy it!
Also, Season 3 of The Mandalorian is out and we highly encourage you to watch it!!
Episode 20: Being Present in a Distracted World
There’s a line one can cross where you’re no longer actually savoring life. You are recording it for others, and in the process of recording it for others, you miss out.
Rob Dale, Eric Deschamps, Trefor Munn-Venn
Hi, and welcome to the Living Richly podcast. My name is Rob Dale and I’m here with my great friends, Trefor and Eric. And, um, welcome. Uh, hang on, hang on one second guys. Cuz uh, there’s something going on here, uh, clearly. Uh, hey guys. Uh, look up. We are starting the podcast. Oh. Mm-hmm. Hey man, dude, like, what suck that is.
How did you get here? That has gotta be the worst opening of any one of our episodes so far, but, uh, I believe you can do better. We tried, we tried. Um, do we, do we wanna keep that? No, seriously. Like you could turn off your volume or something. Sorry. And you just sent me a message. Cause I, because even when I’m disconnected from my phone, I am not disconnected from my phone, uh, because I get notifications on my watch.
Oh, dear. Um, welcome to the Living Richly podcast. It’s so great to have you here, uh, uh, with us. Uh, and, uh, that’s our really bad attempt, uh, to humorously introduce the concept of both being present, uh, and, uh, you know, dealing with being, you know, in a distracted world of devices and everything else that keep us from doing that.
Uh, and uh, really it is a big challenge. It’s a big, uh, issue that we see in society. We’ll talk about some numbers in a little bit, uh, but we thought it would be re helpful to. And I just, again, unpack for how we see and kind of our cons, our ideas around the notion of, of what it means to be present. That seems to be one of the buzzwords that, uh, uh, so many are, are using today.
Oh, I’m just gonna be in the moment. Uh, and most people Wait, how do, how do they say it? How do they say it in the moment? Right. It’s, it’s, uh, can you say that with helium balloon voice? No, no. Not the buzzword that philosophers and spiritual leaders have been using for millennia. That’s right. It’s just a buzzword.
Like a lot of ancient beliefs and traditions, they become buzz phrases, uh, in our culture today, it seems. Oh, I like what you did there and thank you. Yeah. For, uh, so I like that it went from a buzzword to a buzz phrase. Well, it is a phrase. It’s, it’s being in, I wanna say go to buzz light here. It’s your own word.
It’s so, it’s true. It’s, I think it should go to buzz light here. It, it is a phrase, special shout out to Buzzsprout for, uh, for, for hosting our podcast. There’s a lot of, uh, buzzing going on. Okay. Uh, so let’s talk about, I feel, I feel like our, our conversation is distracted right now. Is it? Can you, can you focus us in Mr.
Host? It, it’s like herding cats. Apparently not. No, no. Do better. Yeah. Okay.
Well, thank you for tuning in today and we hope that we, we hope you’re actually still here. Yeah, no. Uh, so let’s talk about being present. Yeah. Uh, it is a big topic in the sense that, again, there’s lots of opinion, as you said, this is not a new concept, and yet it seems to have taken on, uh, some new language.
Um, in a previous episode, we talked about the notion of, of rest. Uh, you know, so when we start to look at the idea of being present, it fits into that idea that everybody kind of, if you said to somebody, Hey, do you think it’s good to be present, to be in the moment? Very few people are gonna say no. Uh, but, but yet we don’t seem to really understand the concept Well, uh, at least when it applies to, uh, living richly, right.
Uh, and all of this concept. So maybe just quickly, what is, what do we mean when we talk about. Being present, being in the moment. Uh, what does that, what does that look like for us? What does it mean? Uh, well, I mean, for me, like a phrase I’ve come up with cuz for so long, uh, most of my adult life, and thankfully that’s shifted, but most of my adult life being in the moment is something I really struggled with.
Um, probably I would describe the vast majority of my thought life was preoccupied with either regrets of the past, over mistakes I’ve made and things I wish I could get a mulligan or a do-over on. Yeah. Um, and, and so my thoughts were often there or obsessing about the future, obsessing about, you know, how am I gonna accomplish this?
How am I gonna overcome this? Um, which meant that in the moment. I was physically present, but, uh, you know, mentally checked out and, and again, not like completely, but checked out enough that the impact on, uh, my, my first marriage impact on my kids as a much younger leader, and this was my context. Um, I struggled to just show up.
Mm-hmm. Um, right. So I think when we talk about being present, it’s, it’s, it’s literally, uh, learning to be in the moment that you’re in. And the phrase that I’ve, uh, come up with for, for myself that really helpful is to focus on what I’m doing while I’m doing it. So whatever I’m engaged in, uh, is to give that my fullest attention as opposed to trying to do.
Multiple things, uh, at the same time. I’m not sure if that’s how you viewed or if you see it differently. It’s a great way to put it. I mean, uh, I know that I’m a great multitasker. Can we, can we talk, how about that for a second? Cause I, I, I was thinking about that, but I wanted to get space. Yeah, I wanna get space, but I, I, I was like multitasking.
Like, go back. What, when was that po was that like a decade ago where that was like the, everyone being encouraged to multitask more and that this was going to be the key to productivity going back toward the episode we just did on, uh, on rest, right. Or we did recently unrest and, and, and, uh, how we’re, we’re slaves to this notion of the hustle culture, it seems, and uh, uh, uh, it was interesting cuz I, I remember like, it was, it was in every book.
It was in every. Productivity book was every blog, every article on fortune magazines and all the entrepreneur and all the others, like an ink, you know, it’s all about multitasking only for later the research to come out and demonstrate how it’s the, it actually caused a, a major drop, uh, in productivity.
And now the, uh, when, when the, um, the research is, is, is pointing towards what they call deep work, which is this notion of attention on one thing at a time, uh, for a substantial amount of time until you get it moving forward. So there’s been a major shift in society, but, but I think we haven’t caught up.
There’s like, we haven’t caught up to the research and we’re often multitasking both in our personal lives and our professional lives. So much going on up here that, you know, in, even in this conversation, my mind could be in a million different places. Right, right. Yeah. What do, what do you think tr I have a lot of browser windows open.
Right now. That’s all I can think about right now in this moment. So it’s interesting because I, well, right. Yeah. I. Um, it’s on the other side. Oh, it’s on the other side. I, I’ve seen, I’ve seen your laptop, uh, when we’ve been doing some work together or something, and you’ll have your laptop open and, and that’s usually my first reaction is, oh my God, what are you doing?
You’ve got like 150 browser, uh, windows, open top. You know, what’s a great gag to some for someone who does that, that, that, and I, I can be the same way. I’ll have like so many credit, like when they’re not looking, go on their laptop, type up, uh, or bring up a, a website that’s playing music in the background.
It, and they, and then they’re sitting there forever trying to figure out where the music’s coming from. Yeah, yeah. Because there’s like 50 open tabs and they can’t talk. Well, except the most of the browsers now have, I’m a bit devious that way. They’ve ruined that because now what they do is they show you a little speaker, you get an icon, you get an icon telling you which browser window is damn them.
But even, even that, we, we know like any, any, uh, uh, computer software, uh, engineer will tell you. You’re, you’re actually limiting your browser when you do that because it, it’s depleting the, the memory that each window takes and it, and it depletes, it, it, you lose battery. Everything happens when you try to, to do things like that.
But yeah, you do, you have a lot of browsers open? I do. I do. The, um, we, it’s interesting cuz that that conversation about the data, the data have actually been around for a while. Mm-hmm. But they, it keeps getting, Uh, talked over right by the culture that people are trying to live out. And so then the data has to come back and, and, and kind of reassert itself.
It’s, uh, the data has become an inconvenient truth. Yeah. Right. We don’t wanna look at it. Yeah. The uh, but yeah, e everything tells us every, every bit of data out there. Like there’s no question around it tells you Unitasking is where it’s at. So just cuz you Oh, I like that uni tasking. You know, we’re, we’re, we think it’s like uni brow, I guess, right?
It’s, uh, what,
what? Talk about distracted. Alright. Back here. Back here. Back here. Rob. Be here right now in this moment. I think we lost our host. Oh, it’s so bad. I don’t blame him. I don’t blame him. Right. It’s. Uh, we people pride themselves on how fast they can task swap and jump back and forth. Right. And people context switching, right?
Yeah. It’s like going from thing to thing to thing to thing. Thinking they’re more effective, but they’re not. Yeah. They’re not like, just over and over. Every single study reinforces in anywhere in the world that your, uh, your attention goes down, your quality goes down. We know that when you are distracted, um, people have a false sense of productivity.
That’s probably what’s happening for me, is I have a false sense of productivity with the, with the windows open. There’s, uh, documented drops in iq. Right, the more distracted we are while we’re trying to do things. So like we’re literally getting dumber and less productive, but feeling like we’re doing it better or because people are like, listen, you’re gonna just have to figure out how to do these two things at the same.
That just, and, and uh, uh, when you said that, as soon as you said that, my mind immediately went to the two by four by two model, uh, which tells us that when we get anxious, if I get the more anxious I get the dumber I get. The more anxious we get as a group, the more the dumber we get. And in many ways that busyness and distraction is a form of anxiety or at least produces absolutely a measure of anxiety.
W would it not like, cuz your mind is scattered and trying to, trying to hold many things in. Conscious attention, which we know the conscious mind can’t do. Can’t do it. Yeah. Yeah. Hundred percent can’t do it. Well, a hundred percent. And it, it maxes out after about an hour to 90 minutes of focused attention.
And then you need to take a break, not switch tasks. Right. You need to actually rest. Uh, we talked about rest in a previous episode. We need to, to rest our minds and create a little bit of space around that in order to, to let it recover because the people forget. How much energy cognition takes. That’s why we want to turn everything into a subconscious process or routine or habit or script.
Cause figuring everything out is mentally exhausting. Right. And it’s a, it’s a muscle you can’t flex for a very long time, then you have to back it off. So like, people with really high level train levels of focus, it’s like 90 minutes. And then you, you need to take a break. And Rob, I, I remember you’re telling us you’re on a cruise and there’s a guy whose like job is to walk around and like, I dunno, look for debris or boats or rocks or whatever, or bodies in the water.
But he can’t do a long shift. Right? Right. No, they keep their shifts very short. Um, even the, the, uh, the, whoever the captain might be, uh, all the entire crew that are on the, uh, uh, in the, the board, uh, why am I blanking? The bridge on the bridge. Thank you. I’m totally blanking on the bridge. I’m no big Are captain, are you, are you distracted?
Are you okay? Yeah, I’m all good. You’re good? Okay. Just checking in. Yeah, sorry, who are you? Uh, but I’m still trying to answer that question. All of the people on the bridge working four hour shifts. Because it requires so much attention, because it requires me, right? Require, but to your point, this, the spotter that’s, uh, we, we had a ch a chance to do a tour of the, uh, bridge.
Uh, and, uh, the spotter is literally just on one side and then walking over the other side, and he’s just ca but all he’s looking for is something that the radar might not pick up. Obviously the ships are, I think they said they’ve got four redundant types of radar that are like something flying under the radar, but something flying under the radar.
Uh, and that’s what they’re trying to, uh, that’s what they’re looking for. It’s fascinating to me that, uh, right out of the gate, we, we ask the questions, so what does being present mean? And we right to, and we go right to focus. And I think, uh, right, we’re talking about the power of focus and in, in, in reality, it is about putting.
Our focus, uh, right. Uh, uh, rather than letting our minds run away from us or, and letting the, all the background noise, steal our attention. We talked about energy management. Yeah. In a recent episode, rather than letting our best energy get eaten up by all this background noise, we’re choosing to place our attention on what we’re doing right now.
I think to me, that’s the, the best way to describe is this energy and focus on where I am, who I’m with, what I’m doing right now, and let the past take care of itself. The future I’ll bump into soon enough, but focusing my time, energy focus right in the moment and, and the goal. Here, uh, we, when we kind of set the topics for our episodes, uh, the goal today really is there’s, there’s two in some ways different topics that we want to talk about, but they tie in so well together, being present and then, uh, in a distracted world, uh, uh, dealing with distractions.
Um, and, you know, and, and these are conversations and so we even how we flow into where we go with each part, I do. I, I appreciate so much what you just said. Going back to I love the language of focus mm-hmm. More than even being present or in the moment. Because again, the, the notion of focus, it, it just, it makes more sense to me.
Um, you introduced, uh, I remember you were the one shared this with me. I dunno if it’s original to you, whether you read it in a book, but it was, it was so there are no original thoughts. Right? It was such a good, it was such a, I’m, I’m having an original, no, I guess it’s not original. You, you, you’ve thought poorly of me before.
But you’ve fought it too, right? I don’t even have to say it. Bravo. You guys are sharing a joint. Oh, no. Yeah. There, there, uh, uh, mud melding. You shared a a really, when, when we talk about being in the moment and how, kind of almost the fallacy of, of what that is when it comes to, uh, you know, well, what’s a moment?
Uh, maybe share that because I I just love this concept or, yeah. And I remember when I first shared it with you, you were like, yeah, I think you’re high on drugs. Uh, but, uh, it does make more sense if you’re a little bit, a little bit. Um, but this whole notion of the present moment, the present is a moving target.
Uh, because even, uh, you queuing up this question for me to be talking about it, that moment is already in the past, sorry. In the past. And there are moments that are in our immediate future that we’re about to bump into, and we’ll see where, where this episode takes us in terms of the future. But the present is, is it shouldn’t be seen like this static, uh, um, uh, hard set thing.
It’s, uh, I like to look at it like a, a flowing river. It’s moving. Uh, and I think being in the moment, uh, living in the moment, uh, being present, focusing on what you’re doing right now is imagine yourself floating. A raft or you’re in a boat floating down the middle of the river and you’re not getting hung up constantly on the riverbank of the past.
Uh, and you’re not getting hung up on the riverbank of the future. And it’s not that I, I think the beauty of it is past, present, and future come together beautifully when we, we begin to see them this way, is that our past is always available to us, uh, to inform us, to teach us to carry wisdom forward into the present moment or into our future.
That’s what our past, I think, and, and ob obviously memories and things that we treasure our past is, is just full of those. And also hardship and things we’ve gone through that leave. Hopefully wiser, uh, right. More, uh, more mature, uh, uh, uh, more robust, more resilient, our future. Um, yep. There’s unexpected hardship probably that is awaiting us at some point.
That’s gonna come too, but there’s also a lot of great things in our future. So our future is there to inspire us. Our past is there to inform us, but we live all of that out. In each moment by moment, right? Like it’s in every th this, even this episode, we could say that this, the, the, the, the, uh, recording of this episode is a bigger moment filled with tons of to tiny moments that are happening, uh, in all of it.
But the point is, I think as much as possible to bring my best self, my full self into each of those moments as opposed to just being partially there or sort of in the conversation, but checked out. And I know we, we tried to stage a distracted moment at the beginning of this, but like, how many times does a conversation?
Uh, when I was traveling recently, Kate and I, uh, noticed it and we noticed it whenever we go out, how many, even couples are sitting at a table eating dinner together and they’re both on their phones the whole time. So that, that is the opposite of being present. Uh, they’re checked out of the moment, uh, each having their own moment, but not sure, certainly sharing one.
Right? Uh, it it, and, and it’s. It is a challenge for a lot of people. Again, the idea, everything, what you just shared resonates. Yeah. Yeah. I needed. Uh, and this is where again, why we’re covering these topics together is because the immediate response is, but when I try to be in those moments, I’m distracted by all these other thoughts.
My brain won’t, I can’t turn my brain off. Right? Right. I can’t shut my brain off. That’s a common one actually, right? Yeah, absolutely. And so I’m, if I try to be in the moment, even when it’s, I’m, uh, in these, what we love about these conversations, and we really do call them conversations. Each episode, uh, the ability to pause, to allow for silence, because sometimes, We’re totally engaged in listening to whoever is speaking in the moment.
Other times, we’re checking our notes and they’re talking and we’re kind of hearing them, but we’re also looking about what I’m gonna jump in and say next. Uh, and it’s a challenge to truly be in a moment with, with others, or even just on our own. Yeah. And I think that’s why we, we paired this with this notion of being present in a highly distracted world.
Is that, uh, a major source of, of, uh, or drain upon? If, if, if showing up in the moment is the goal, if being more present, more fully checked into what’s happening right now, is the goal, then what are all the things that are, uh, are stealing our attention away? Or, and, and actually, I, I, let me backtrack. I don’t like that language.
That sounds very victim. Like a victim. Like somehow someone’s doing that to you. Taking it from you. Yeah. Uh, no, no, no. One is, we’re allowing our energy to be redirected. We’re making a conscious choice, uh, whether it’s conscious or, or unconscious. We’re making a choice. Uh, to allow our attention to be, uh, dispersed over many things as opposed to focused on, uh, one thing.
And I think a big, uh, one of the biggest sources of that is our, our devices. Let’s face it. Uh, technology, social media, our phones. You know, I remember the day I had to, one of the first, I’m gonna date myself now, but back in a sales job I had many, many, many years ago, I had one of the first portable cell phones.
I dunno if you guys remember this. It was basically like a brick. Yeah, I like the size of a. With a little, with a little black antenna on it. I read about these. You read about these? Yes. And like you could literally, like, this thing was like a mammoth phone. And now we hold the power of a supercomputer i in our device.
Like it can do anything and it can do it very, very quickly. And, um, it’s our phone, it’s our source of music. It’s, uh, uh, it, we work off of it. We, we communicate, we, we go on social media. Uh, we, we use it for calculator. We use it to help us navigate to another destination. I mean, this is like, uh, uh, an amazing tool in many ways.
Uh, but it has led to an addiction, I think, uh, as a society to technology and in many ways, um, most of us have become an, I I’ll say, like I’m constantly checking my relationship with, with devices because I am, I enjoy technology and I’ve fallen prey to this more times than I care to admit. But, um, we’ve become in many ways digital zombies.
We, we are, we’re checked out, uh, and, and, and, uh, in conversation. We’re checking our phones and we’re, we’re on a zoom call with, with our colleagues or, or, uh, and we’re doing e checking our email and surfing the internet and right, like we’re anything but dialed in to actually what matters most. And a big source of it, um, is our fascination with devices three and a half hours a day.
Uh, according to, uh, e-Marketer, what’s your screen time? Uh, oh God. What’s your screen time? Pull it up. Uh, according to e-marketer, the, uh, the average North American is on their phone, mobile device, three and a half hours a day. Uh, and they are, um, uh, on computers or TVs or whatever other devices, uh, eight hours, uh, a day.
And that’s, it’s amazing. A 21, uh, study. So it’s, it is pretty incredible. But what’s your daily average? What’s your daily average this week? It’s four hours. Mine’s four 30. Yeah, for this week, four 16. Now, to be fair, I do use it for work as well, but I, again, a big majority of that is just being on. To be fair, I play Clash of Clans.
That eats a lot of time. No, the, uh, the, uh, don’t, so, and that’s a category. I forgot to add this. We’re gonna, we’re gonna show the, we’re gonna show the age here. I don’t know how to, I’m like, I don’t, it’s that I’m, but I, I forgot to add, we also play on these, right? They’re, they’ve, uh, they’re, uh, a major. We, we watch videos.
We, uh, like we’re, and, and again, we could talk about social media. I think social media is worthy of exploration. We do everything but actually talk on them. Look at this guy. An hour and 14 minutes is Rob’s daily average 20 down 27% from last week, and it’s down from last week. Good work, buddy. Is your phone not charged this week?
You just uh, no. I, I this thing on, so one of the things, so now I read digital books. I read like, but that, so I had an eight hour drive listening to a podcast off my phone. So I know that skewed it a little bit, right? But it’s still. That’s a lot. It’s a lot of time. We spend a lot of time on there and, uh, and, and, and there again, we can make a case for all kinds of reasons why we use it.
Uh, I don’t think there’s many people that will go, I’m, you know, I, I’m not ever distracted by my phone. No. Right. I, I think the, it’s a problem. It’s a very prevalent issue. Um, and, and look at social media. And again, uh, I’m, there’s another one I’m constantly checking my relationship with social media cuz I developed an unhealthy relationship with it during Covid.
And, and so I’m constantly checking in with myself. But part of, uh, uh, my journey has been, uh, to check in with myself. Like, think of how often we are in moments we’re, we’re so ta about being in the moment or not being in the moment. We’re in a moment, but rather than savoring the moment, we’re staging the moment to later post.
On social media. Now there’s nothing wrong with that, but I think it’s an important area to check in on to say, am I actually showing up and enjoying it, or am I like, am I taking pictures to capture the memory or am I taking pictures to, to do something? And again, that’s a whole other topic, but I, I think it’s a measure of not being present.
Uh, I think some, like I’ve deliberately at times now I’m, I, I might take one or two pictures and I put my phone away. Cause I’m like, how many pictures of the same thing do I need? As opposed to actually savoring what’s happening right now. And also, and, and I think you have to ask the question, so why am I doing this?
Totally. I doing this cuz I need validation. Or is there another, another reason for doing it? Totally. And it’s interesting and I will go back to, because, and I, I get that you went Oh, look at you with the number your It is, it is a, I was proud of you man. Well, thank you. It, it was a deliberate. Decision I made, and I’ll use an example of this, uh, that, cuz I don’t, I’ve, I, in fact, this is the first time I’ve ever talked about this with anyone, uh, that I made this decision.
I remember back a coup, uh, when we first started going to, we had our, our box at the, at the uh, uh, local, uh, arena. And there’s concerts on. I remember one of the first concerts we were at, and it was so interesting to me to watch, uh, how, of course from our box you could see much of this, the crowd, the 10, well not tents, but thousands of phones that were on recording the musicians doing a song rather than people just watching the right experience.
And I, and one of the things that I made that selfishly, uh, I look at it and I go, even the other night we were in the box for a concert, just, uh, this, uh, uh, journey in Toto during Toto. That was a great concert. But there was one point where, again, I didn’t touch my phone the entire night. I didn’t need to because I knew everyone else in the box would be recording stuff and tagging me in it, that I would have my stuff that I could save for later and anything like that.
Right. So I’m like, I don’t need to be on my phone cuz everybody else will be on them and taking the videos and pictures and, and doing all of that kind of stuff. Yeah. But a, a bunch of years back, Carrie and I were, this was before kids. We were, uh, uh, we were backpacking in the Andes and, uh, we came across this one guy and he had, uh, he had a, a fully manual, um, uh, uh, camera.
So no technology, no batteries, no anything like it, it was fantastic. It was this great, great rig he had. And his deal with himself was he could take one photo a. Wow. And so he spent every moment really looking at what was going on around him. Wow. Like were these, which 1:00 AM I gonna choose? Two little kids playing.
Yeah. Was it these pictures of these peaks? Was it the sunset or sunrise? Was it this Inca contemp, whatever. To, to exercise some judgment saying, if I’m only going to capture one thing today, what will it be? Yeah. And there was in some ways some risk with that cuz he is like, oh, if it’s this sunrise, and he go, oh, but the sunset’s even better.
He is like, no, I made the choice, but he said everything else, I’m just gonna savor. Really, really internalize, really try to capture with, with my own mind rather than try and capture with a piece of technology, even a piece of, you know, what we would consider very rudimentary technology right now. And it was really striking around that because it helped him be very present.
Right, right. Well, I, I, listen, we all, we all three of us would’ve grown up with the, uh, with film cameras. Mm-hmm. Right. And I remember going on school trips as a kid and parents would get you like, uh, often the disposable camera, right. That had, uh, you could take 24 or 36 pictures and 90% of them would come.
You know, they would be horrible. They wouldn’t, uh, yeah. Right. They were out of focus or whatever the case may be. But you knew you had limited, um, uh, availability avail. You had a, you had a runway there of, uh, of options available to you. There wasn’t endless. And, and things have changed. I mean, technology changes and when technology changes, behaviors change, and when behaviors change, values start to change over time.
Right. And I, I just think there’s been this movement, there’s this growing movement towards, um, our lives being put on display for others. And we’ve, I’ve referred to this on other episodes, we’ve talked about this. It’s almost like we’re, and, and then we, social’s got this thing where we’re, we’re, we’re, we’re, we’re, we’re thumbing through, uh, everybody else’s feed, uh, reading about their highlights or enjoying their highlights.
And often at the expense of not really engaging with our own life. Right. So I think it’s an area that devices social media, When we talk about being present, I love capturing moments and memories. It’s one of my, um, uh, it’s one of when I thought, think of the four themes in my Living Richly blueprint is creating moments like it’s, it’s savoring moments and experiences with the people that matter most to me.
So capturing a memory of that, or some memories of that I think is very, very valuable. I’m not, we’re not suggesting otherwise, but it’s this over, I think it’s when you, right, there’s a, there’s a, a line one can cross where you’re no longer actually savoring life. You, you are recording it for others and, and in the process of recording it for others, uh, you miss out.
Right? It’s like, it’s like, uh, maybe a great analogy is, uh, Steve, right? Uh, he’s our producer. Uh, he’s behind the scenes and, hi Steve. Hello. Hey. So thank you for doing that so people know you. Whoa. Whoa. That’s enough, Steve. That’s enough from you. Oh God. Right. But Steve, uh, in order for us to focus on these conversations, Steve manages all the technology.
He’s capturing all the audio, he’s capturing all the video, he’s doing all the panning. He does all the, the post edit work. Uh, and so he’s here and he’s engaging, and we’ve had talks about sometimes how the topics have your thoughts on it afterwards or in between podcast, podcast episodes. But his full attention is on capturing, uh, this, right?
So I think when you’re in that capture mode, the ability to actually engage fully in what’s actually being captured is somewhat compromise. I don’t know, does that make sense? Like, uh, right. This notion of like, I, I’m, my focus is on something else. Then the actual moment that I’m in, even though I may still enjoy it and still benefit from it, I’m missing something.
Well, now, you know, the, the present is all there is. And our body’s there, but our mind usually isn’t. Right. Right. And so it’s like getting mind and body in the same place at the same time, puts us in the present, which is why I think so many practices are about start with your breath. Right. It it’s actually connect and pay attention, bring your mind’s attention to your here and now, and you’re always breathing.
So it’s always a, a great resource around that. And I think it, it’s our ego that pulls us out of, uh, out of that present into either the past or the future as you, as you described. Right. And is pulling us away from where we are and in this moment, but the, the richest things are always in the present.
Right, right. The only things. Are are actually only in the present. So even when we’re imagining the future or reliving the past, what we’re doing is we’re, we’re, um, like overriding the present. Mm-hmm. Instead of being here, now we’re taking our imagined future. Frankly, our imagined past as well. Don’t get me started.
We, we could talk. We, well, it might be how, hindsight is never 2020, never. 2020. The, uh, that’s a bullshit statement. But to, uh, and we overwrite what’s actually happening here now. Yeah. So you’ll see people in like, you know, full on crisis. Out of something from the future or the past, but it’s overwriting their present PTSDs.
Like, let, let’s, let’s face it like sometimes we’re just distracted by our past and, and or checked out of the present moment cuz we’re obsess like thinking about our past, we’re obsessing about our future, but there are times where trauma from our past Absolutely right. Uh, uh, uh, will, will just show up in the moment and kind of hijack our higher thinking.
Like, so that’s a whole other, that’s a whole other topic. Absolutely. Right? Absolutely. That’s a real thing. And every bit of care around an anxiety attack is actually linking to the senses, right? Right. To say, uh, right. It’s, uh, I, I forget the order, but it’s like, what are five things you see? What are four things you hear?
What are three things you can touch? What are two things you can smell? What’s one thing you can taste? Right? Like it’s to ground you in the present, in your body again, like reconnect the dots. Yeah. So good. And so, but because. We only live this moment. Yeah. And the there, which means everything is only now I will caveat it with, in this space time continuum, don’t get me started in the quantum mechanics, cuz I do believe there’s another way to look at it as well.
Yeah. But what, as we’re living this experience, there’s only right here, right now, which means everything is here now, which means this moment. If we go back to an earlier. Is sacred as well, right? Right. It’s a spiritual a moment as you don’t get to live it again, right? You’ve got one chance. And, uh, again, when you think of how much time and energy is spent focusing on the other parts of that continuum, I, I remember hearing a, um, uh, a speaker refer to, uh, and this is recently, uh, to one of our Olympic athletes in a recent winter Olympic games, and I’m not gonna remember the name of the athlete.
It was one of our downhill skiers, alpine skiers. Um, and that he carries around, apparently he carries around in his pocket at all times, a sheet of eight and a half by 11 papers, right? And, uh, and, and it’s, and it on it, our Dr. So holding it sort of in landscape mode, uh, he’s got all this that’s on this, this sheet of paper.
It’s all folded in his pocket and he pulls it out. When he unfolds it, there’s two lines, that’s it, two lines on this sheet of paper. So probably one inch to the margin. On the left is a line from top to bottom and one inch on the margin to the right. Is a line top to bottom. And every time he opens this, it’s a reminder to him.
There’s his past, there’s his future. Talking about what’s in the margins. Okay, these are important, right? Like I said, there’s tons of wisdom that we inherit from our past. Lessons learned that we can carry forward, right? Our, our future can inspire us as we’re working on, uh, future goals and, and envision envisioning the best version of ourselves.
Uh, all those things are important, but that sheet of paper was a reminder to him that the, the vast majority, the largest section by far, uh, was the center, which is now all I have is now, it’s actually all we’re guaranteed. It’s all we’re guaranteed is this moment. Right now. We don’t know what’s going to happen.
And when we begin to really understand that, um, then we begin this. Like I think it inspires one to start to say, how mu can I start giving? What if I turned up the volume of my attention? Uh, right. If what if I turned up the volume of my focus and started to look for ways to do that in a, in a more present way?
Uh, more often how I might start to savor life more. Uh, cuz again, I don’t think living your richest life. It’s now, it it, it’s now it’s, it’s before it’s coming, right? But where it’s fully lived is, is moment by moment decision by decision, person to person, uh, in the moment. Experience by experience by experience, memory by memory, right?
Yeah, yeah, yeah. There, there, there is so much. Um, so maybe let’s, let’s take a few more minutes to talk about, uh, the, because it’s such, uh, an epidemic of, uh, the, the of digital zombie, uh, you know, behavior. That, that there, there really ha it has begun to consume us and, and in many ways takes over our lives.
To your point, you know, Wendy and I made, you know, we’re the same observations when we’re, you know, every night out at, at dinner, even on the, on the ship. And again, you’ve got these, in some cases, some, some great ex, you know, everything around you and the amount of. Everyone has their phone on the, not everyone, almost everyone has their phone on the table looking at it, doing this stuff.
Uh, you know, table, you know, husband and wife, they’re, they’re both just sitting on their phones, right? Uh, half the time we didn’t even have our phones with us, or, you know, uh, Wendy might take a picture of what we’re eating and then, then the phone goes away, and then the rest of the entire time is just us interacting, having conversations.
Um, so let’s talk, how do. How do we detox from devices? What are some, you know, uh, some, what are some of the things you guys do to be able to, to, to make that separation? Uh, a book that I’ve referred to, uh, in other episodes, um, uh, the Practice of Groundedness by Brad Spielberg. He talks a lot about this and, uh, strategies that he’s used with.
Uh, he’s also a coach and he, he works with, um, high-end executive clients and athletes. And, and this is a major issue at that level, is the level of distraction. And, and, and, and let’s face it, a cluttered mind is a stressed mind because you’re trying to hold, again, you’re, you’re, your conscious mind is not designed by nature to hold multiple things at once.
Uh, it, it’s actually designed to hold one thing, uh, right. And anytime you start to over, the more you overload it, the more scattered. Uh, stressed, uh, uh, tired. You’ll feel, and to your point, the dumber, you actually get your, your ability to think more tabs open, more tabs open. Like, where’s that damn music coming from?
Right? Like, that’s, that’s really what’s going on there, right? Yeah. So, so some of the things, and I was inspired by, uh, uh, really challenged me when I read that chapter. Cause that was back at a time where I was, wasn’t happy with my level of use on the devices. And it’s something I continually have to check in with.
I mean, how many of us will, for example, sit there and watch a show perhaps, or I put a movie on or a series that we really enjoy on any of the streaming platforms. Like who’s not loving the Mandalorian season three, right? Like, or, uh, um, uh, the last of Us, oh my God, right? Uh, uh, what a great series. But we put on a show and here’s a show we actually enjoy.
And instead of just fully engaging in that and enjoying it, uh, we’re doing that while we’re. Right. We’ve got our phone in our hand and looking at the actor, right? And you realize, you look back and go, I’ve just la missed the last five minutes and rewind. Right? And, and so you’re really not engaging in either activity.
Uh, and so you’re, if whatever enjoyment you’re seeking to get is, is compromised because your, again, your attention is compromised. So part of it is learning to put the phone away more. Uh, one of the strategies Spielberg encourages in his is his book is if this is a problem for you, um, at a certain time of day when it, because if you use it for work, you use it for work, it’s hard to just put the phone away.
Like if it, if it’s a device you need, but put the phone away at a certain time and put it in another room. Uh, one of the, and there’s tons of research around this, don’t. In the room you sleep in, uh, at night, like, uh, and, and right. And if you’re concerned about, well, I might miss something, or I’ve got, uh, kids away at a sleepover and I need to check in with them.
Well, the recommendation is leave it even in the bathroom or in the next room with the ringer turned on. You’ll still hear it, but you won’t be tempted to constantly reach over, uh, and look at it. One of the things that was actually, uh, really impactful for me was, again, since Covid, um, and moving to a fully remote model, which we love.
Now, we meet what the vast majority of our clients we meet, uh, remotely, uh, via, via video conference. Um, uh, but one of the things that was most impactful for me, uh, and I started doing this probably about six months ago, is, uh, I, I, have you ever sat with someone and you’re trying to have a conversation, but behind you, I’ve, this has happened sometimes in restaurants or public places or bar and you’re having a conversation, but behind you is a mirror.
And the person that you’re talking to is distracted by their own image, and you can watch their attention constantly shifting. Always right. It’s, it’s, it’s very distracting and you don’t feel very connected in the, because they’re constantly seeing themselves in the mirror. Well, that’s the same effect that video conferencing introduced to the masses.
Uh, when everyone was sent home to work and, and people jumped on to, for many of them video conferencing for the first time. One of the best things you can do if you’re. Uh, zoom or Skype or Google meets or teams, whatever, uh, uh, tool you use is to turn off your self view. All of them have the, the, the, the option to do that.
What I mean by that is you won’t see yourself anymore. You’ll see the folks that you’re talking to, but your self view is gone. There’s something there. Nowhere in human relationships or communication or conversation, um, right, uh, is a best practice to be distracted by your own image, constantly staring back at you.
As a matter of fact, when they were doing the research on Zoom fatigue, one of the, the, the telling or one of the most presenting, uh, issues that, that contributed to zoom fatigue more than any other was this notion of constantly being distracted. How do I look? How do I appear? How am I coming across this obsession almost with it?
So, and that’s a good one. In, in conversations, even in a work perspective, you can bring more folks and attention simply by doing something like that. The other is, you know, do not disturb is your friend. Uh, take control of your device. Take control when people can reach you. If not, you’re constantly a slave to every notification, every text, every message, every social media notification, every email.
Uh, and that’s just exhausting. And, and even with that, most phones today, uh, you know, I use an iPhone. I know it’s very easy to set up on an iPhone. You can set up favorites, right. So I, my, I’ve got my daughter, I’m one of them, one of my daughters, as you are actually. Uh, uh, but I, I, did we get, we got that on record.
Yeah. Got that on record. I don’t, hang on. Let me ask you for be true. Trevor’s gonna add us his favorites now. Cause he’s feeling a little awkward. No, but I, I will, I will say I en enlisted of my favorites, right? I’ve got, I’ve got Wendy, I’ve got my two girls and I’ve got the two of them. But I’m in first position, right?
No, no, no. You’re in. For fifth, depending on the moment. Depending on the moment. He’s saw. Certainly moving though. Yeah. Uh, I’m heartbroken. I only had Steve on my end. The uh, and, but the reason I set that up is so then I can have my phone in do not disturb. I’m not being, you know, I’m not hearing all the people not hear that still get through, but I don’t have to worry that if there’s a crisis, whether it’s there’s a crisis in, in, in, in the business or with just in your, your own lives or with my mm-hmm.
With my kids, uh, or with Wendy. Uh, if they need to get through, their message will still come through. It’s so easy to set up. And then I I, and 90% of the time my phone’s on do not disturb. Right. I hardly ever take it off of that because I don’t need to hear all the. Right. Right. So it is there, there are some of those that, that’s a simple practice.
One of the ones that you, uh, first, uh, you started doing this, uh, uh, with your phone was, uh, rather than put the phone outta the room, you were using your phone as your camera. I’m still doing that. Yeah. Yeah. Which I still do that, which, which then all of a sudden it’s like, it’s out of reach for you to be looking at because it’s, it’s up.
Well, first, first, like with the new technology on the iPhone, and I’m sure this is true on, on other devices as well, it’s actually the, a better camera than, uh, you’ll get on your laptop or even the, the cameras that you buy that are external, uh, that you plug into your computer. Mm-hmm. Uh, but what it primarily for me is that it.
Gets the phone outta my hands and out of reach so that again, there’s a greater level of focus and less distracting me. Turn off your email program like when you’re, there’s another one, and we’re, this is in business context, and I wanna li I love to hear Trav, some of your, uh, strategies, um, on the personal side perhaps, or, and business.
But, uh, but again, we have just many things happening all at once. Uh, and so how can we possibly be fully engaged, uh, when, when we’re distracted by phones and email and our, our, uh, you know, a, a constant stream of our live feed of ourselves in front of us? All of these things I think pull us out of the moment, and they do not help us focus.
As a matter of fact, they do the exact opposite. They’re highly, highly distracting. Yeah, it gets, um, it, it’s interesting because the, the, these same distractions are the tools we use to do so much, right? And so the boundaries get really unclear. And so it’s trying to figure out how do I establish boundary in terms of these tools that I use day in and day out for work, for connecting with family, for recreation even.
And how do I know when it’s a distraction and when it’s not. And it’s not just cuz you’re using it. Distraction is anything that’s pulling us out of the moment, right? Yes. Right. So if, if I’ve got, you know, one of my kids is, uh, you know, out with friends and is texting me, I can actually be. In the moment with them texting, not distracted, cuz that’s where I want to be.
Right? Of course. And so there’s a, there’s a focus choice that’s really important to help us understand, you know, what’s going on. And I think this is where, um, this is where technology’s a fast, uh, evolving faster than our behavioral adaptation is. And so we get a little overwhelmed by it and all of a sudden it’s everywhere.
So, so here’s us focused on this podcast with seven screens in front of us, right? So we’ve got our notes. We got two phones. You guys have your watches, right? Like we’re, we’re also on and that’s us focused. Right? Right. That’s with kind of mostly a lot of screens put away. Like they’re ubiquitous now. Yeah, they’re everywhere.
Right. You go. Uh, I remember even with the kids early on, if we went to a restaurant that had a tv, they would spend the whole time looking at the screen. Right? Like it is just like, it’s almost impossible to resist. Like behaviorally. It’s really hard. And now we got screens everywhere. I’m not against screens.
I love this stuff. Yeah. Like it’s useful. We get stuff done connecting with people on the other side of the plant. Like I love that stuff, but it’s. Also getting, the only way I think we can manage our distraction is to know what we actually value and what we want to focus on. Right. Because until you define that, you kind of go, ah, I don’t know.
Is it a distraction or not? So like I, if it’s a sit down to watch the Mandalorian, it’s like, I, I’m gonna say I’m, I’m gonna like savor every moment of this cinematic masterpiece and, uh, right, right. And so, could I, have you seen episode three? The, I have, oh my God, the, uh, did not see that coming. The, uh, it’s really good.
Yeah. The, um, you know, but to be able to, no, no spoilers here where if we’re going to, um, if we’re going to be sitting down with someone we care about over dinner, Then to be really present around that. There are times though, also Carrie and I will sit down and say, let’s go grab a bite and let’s actually work on some stuff for the farm.
And we’re reaching out to people and we’re kind of, we actually are focused together, right? Using our phones in that moment over a meal, you’re showing up. We kind of go, yeah, you’re showing up in that moment to focus on what you’ve agreed to focus on. Yeah. It’s deliberate. It’s deliberate. It’s, it’s, I love that’s choice driven and I think that’s the heart of it is when we, when we’re not choosing then we, then everything’s a distraction.
Well, well, well I was thinking, you know, in, again, in anticipation for this conversation today, like what are some strategies to be less distracted? And one of the ones that came to me was, well engage in more meaningful activities. I, I think a big part of our distraction when we talk. Uh, living your best life.
Uh, one of the questions we encourage people to wrestle with is, what are the things that make me happy? Yeah. What are the things that fill my cup? What are the things that when I do them, I feel recharged and rejuvenated and like I’ve been plugged into a battery, right? Like, I feel full of energy. I think when that’s not defined, when people aren’t clear on that, then boredom sets in, uh, disillusionment sets in, blah sets in, and when we’re feeling like that, the potential for being distracted by all kinds of things goes up.
I don’t know what the percentage would be. I haven’t done formal research on this, but my guess would be it goes up exponentially. Mm-hmm. If I’m engaged in something I love to. Uh, it’s interesting. The more I, like, I, I can’t wait. I, uh, we’re hearing the rainfall on the roof here as we’re recording today.
And, um, I’m looking outside. I know the snow is beginning to melt, can’t wait to be back out on the water. Um, and I find when I’m out there, yeah, I like to take some pictures of the scenery cuz I do see some beautiful stuff while I’m out there. Yeah. But I am not distracted at all by it. Why? Because I’m engaging in something that I love.
So my, the potential for me to be distracted is much lower if I’m engaged in a really meaningful conversation with Kate or with you guys. Again, very, very unlikely to be highly distracted. Why? Because it’s, it’s, it’s something that energizes me. It’s something that brings me joy. I think folks have, not, a lot of folks have not taken the time to figure that stuff out.
Uh, and so as a result, they’re just kind of coast. Uh, through life. Yeah. And then anything that’s sh bright and shiny will capture their attention. I think that’s where screens, social media technology does that brilliantly. It just captures our attention. And let’s not forget that many of these social media platforms and devices and apps are actually designed.
To appeal to our addict, the addictive side of the human, of human nature to get us hooked. Like there’s a real business model behind this. And I’m not trying to push conspiracy theories here. Just take, uh, what was that really popular game? Uh, uh, I’m gonna Candy Crush. Candy Crush. Like the, that, that one, like, I mean, it’s set whole new, uh, standards on how to get people addicted.
Why? So that they’ll pay to keep playing. Uh, and, and, you know, the Candy Crush made a fortune on, on that model. Can you just line up the brain signs the behavioral patterns and you can, you can harness that. So there’s a, a business, right? There’s a business around getting us distracted. Yeah. Like it’s, it’s a, it’s a, it’s a billion dollar industry and there always has been, television is like fighting for eyeballs, right?
Yeah. Right. And so it’s fighting for people’s attention and it’s like, okay, that’s fine. And we can, we can make those choices as, as we do that. But the key is to get really clear on what, what. You got one trip on the rock here, like one trip of life, right? What, what do you want to give your attention to?
And do you actually know that? Do you have that, the answer to that question? Because if you don’t, then the slightest bit of engineered brain science will, will, you’ll, we will have you. And, and if you do and say, you know, I want, it’s interesting when people are, they’re like, okay, I just need to relax. What they do is they’ll go to their phone because it’s a passive relaxation.
But uh, but as opposed to an active relax relaxation, where you kind of go, you know what, I’m gonna go for a walk or I’m gonna go catch up with my kid or my partner, my whatever. Right? Uh, and. Unless we define that we’re gonna be captured, uh, by this other stuff. Right. And that’s, that’s not even mentioning the dopamine hits.
Yeah. That uh, right, that actually it’s all the brain sciences. It’s, it’s the brain science chemistry, right? Like the, the likes on social media, the shares, the, the comments, right. This dopa, these dopamine hits that we get, and we literally can become addicted to those. But these are, these are in many ways can be false moments.
They’re like pseudo moments, right. Uh, as opposed to meaningful moments that again, we don’t get an opportunity to relive. We get one chance and, uh, right. Uh, that, that present moment’s now gone. It’s gone our past now. Right. And right. But that’s the upside though, is this moment you can course correct. You don’t have to wait for anything special.
Right. You don’t have to wait for, you can kinda go, oh, you know what I, I realize now I’m not in the present. And the moment you do that, you’re and Eckhart told, totally tells us this. The moment you realize you’re not in the present, you’re in the present. Right, right. Because it’s a because it’s a realization.
Yeah. Right. And you can go, Hey, you know what, I, I’m meant to be fully present. I wasn’t, I was distracted. I’m here now. Yeah, yeah. And, and to fully be here, and that’s all you have to do is just ch You don’t have to beat the crap outta yourself. No. You don’t have to judge yourself. You don’t have to. But that.
Uh, is a, is a very powerful moment of will and of choice and of connection, right? To things, to people, to moments we really care about. So the next time you see a gorgeous sunset and you’re, and the phone comes out, sure, take a picture if you want, but then put it away and just enjoy it. Look it up, savor it, and then also look at the other people around you soaking it up as well, because actually there’s a moment where they’ll realize what you’re doing and sometimes they’ll put their phone down too, and you get to have the moment, use your phone, capture the memory, like all of that.
Don’t just be owned by that. I don’t know if this is an indication of how twisted my mind is, but as you’re describing doing that, like another people will see you. All I can remember is as a kid, we used to walk around and then in the middle of the crowd Yeah. You hard to look up to see how many people.
Yeah, yeah. Also, don’t stare at the sun. Don’t just, uh, quick real. And, and it is, it is interesting. Good bit of advice, you know, as I’m listening, um, it is interesting. It goes back to even when it comes to our devices, I’m, I’m, I’m conscious of the. With all that we’ve talked about in Living Richly, we talk about what has worked for us, and, and you talk about even, you know, your need to kind of manage, you have to deliberately manage social media.
For me, it’s less of a need for me to de, to be, be aware of it because it’s just not, I don’t run do it as quickly as, as, as some. I got all kinds of other things that I get distracted with. And, and it, for us it’s, I th there is this you cuz I envisioned and you were saying about how you and Carrie might go and deliberately be responding to emails in that over, over a meal and everything like that.
And I thought, oh, and that’s so funny because then somebody else is sitting at another table and look, look at how disconnected they are. Right. Look at these sad, sad couple and in that moment are completely distracted from being in their own moment. Right. Because they’re focused in on whatever might Yeah.
Unless they’re mind your business. Unless, unless they’re engaging in deliberate people. Watching. True. If this is the, which is a great cause people watching could be fun. Right. Well, and, and, and then you made the comment about, you know, and then do you see a beautiful sunset? Yeah. Take a picture and then put your phone down and, and even look around at others.
And I thought, yeah. And everybody else will still have their phones out or whatever. Uh, we were not saying any of this to be, be judgmental. There’s, there’s, there’s purpose behind, I miss. When you were posting your intentions mm-hmm. And those short videos every day. I love that there were some days where you would, what you would post would just trigger a ref and, and there would be a reflection time of my own as a result.
And I knew that, and I remember saying this, I had this conversation with Wendy because Wendy very much does that as well for her, one of her values, Contribution. And, and she has a community that follows her that she, she really does take, uh, serious her, she feels it’s, she, she lives out her purpose by contributing through some of these posts.
But she’s phenomenal. At Jenna, we joke about, you know, she’ll post, she’ll take a picture of a meal, make some kind of comment about this, and the, and then I joke, am I allowed to eat now? Right. And it’s, but we’re jo and we are joking cuz the phone does go away and she’s able to fo the, you were, you were, uh, when you shared that.
Now again, whether you do that or not, you are, one of your values is that ability to, you contribute so well with people that there were so many, you were saying this at the time, so many people responding to you saying, oh, thank you for that. And, and you know, so if we’re doing it out of even what enriches us, I’m not saying don’t do these things.
Now, mobile devices, we can argue, make the argument easily. The research says. This is unhealthy, the amount of time that’s spent. Right. We don’t need to, there’s no judgment on that. It’s, it’s that there, the research says too much alcohol bad. Right, right, right. Whatever that is. E excess in anything. But it, it, it is about be careful, uh, to not be putting the focus on, well, what’s someone else doing?
Focus in on, again, being in the moment, why am I doing it? About why am I doing, what fit am I getting? What’s, what’s the outcome here? Because even the con I, I, I’m glad you wrote that up. Even the contribution piece, uh, can become an addiction. Right, right. Where we’re contributing, I, I, and I check in with on this, and this is why you’ll see me at times.
Post a lot. And then I take a break and I, it’s a reset for me. It’s just to say I need a reset. Uh, and because I do like to inspire, I do like to share, I do like to contribute, but I’m co I’m checking in with myself to say, okay, but is it about contributing? Or how many people are gonna like this post?
Right? Why? Why? And part of that is not a bad thing because I do use it for business. I use it for, so sometimes you want to see what’s working, what’s not working, what are people responding to more than others. So there, part of that is just a business thing, but, but you just, we just have to check in. I think each person needs to evaluate for themselves what are the activities that I’m engaging in?
Are these a deliberate choice? Uh, are Right an intentional. Uh, activity that is enriching my life, that is making me feel more energized. Or is it a, a intentional relaxation kind of thing? Um, or am I just engaging in mind numbing, distracting activities? Let’s face it, let’s go beyond mind numbing and just distracting.
It can become hiding. Uh, right? Like there’s a lot of folks when we talk about being present, being, getting present, uh, in the moment with others is one. Mindfulness would say, where it begins is actually with yourself. And I know for a long time, part of why I didn’t slow down is I didn’t want to be with that guy.
I didn’t wanna, I didn’t want to come face to face with that guy when he is not, you know, uh, uh, uh, producing and running a hundred miles an hour. Like, I didn’t wanna see or hear or get present to that stuff. Yeah. And so a lot of the activities, often, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on it, can be like a hiding, running, avoidance sort of strategy.
I had a conversation with a, a friend of mine, uh, this would’ve been a few years ago now, but they were somebody who every single night they were out with people they were doing. And it was exactly that is when, when it boiled down to it, it was, I don’t want to be alone. I don’t want to be sitting in, I don’t wanna be sitting in my thoughts.
Right. Uh, right. Uh, because just where they were in, in life. And so they would, they feel, and other people would look, go, man, you’re always doing stuff. And look at you, you’re out kayaking, you’re out, you’re doing like, you’re hiking. Oh, now what are you doing now? And you’re out doing all this stuff. And it was the do, do, do in order cuz they didn’t want to have to be in that, that moment of, of reflection or present.
And, and so yes, I think that, that, that can be just as addictive. Uh, so, uh, you know, the passive behaviors can be a problems, but even what, to your point, even healthy, even healthy activities, but healthy activities can, can be an. Escape. And there’s a measure of escape, like if it’s retreat, retreat to recharge, retreat to energize.
But I think if we’re running, if it’s an escape, we’re trying to avoid something and sometimes we’re not ready to deal. And that’s okay. Uh, like I think the, the, the universe, uh, we, we talked about this before. If we’re not ready to deal in this moment with what the universe is kind of orchestrating for us, and we’re like, no problem.
Yeah, no thanks, not ready, uh, the. Okay. Uh, and then it’ll just create a similar circumstance in the future and give you another chance. Don’t you worry one bit. Don’t you worry one bit. You, you, you won’t fail. You just keep, get you get another try taking the test over and over again until you pass. Uh, right.
So, but, so even healthy activities, I think it’s, it’s worthwhile to examine why am I doing it? What’s behind this? Right? Uh, and cuz if I’m, even that, if you’re doing the activities to escape, you’re not truly present. You’re avoiding, there’s something, yeah. If you’re present, it’s not a distraction. Right.
Cuz those healthy activities can fall into the distracting Yeah. Right? Like that’s, that’s the measure. The distraction pulls us away from being present. And so the, the, because otherwise you kinda go, well, which activities? It’s like, doesn’t matter. Yeah. Doesn’t matter. Right. If we’re using it to avoid, if we’re using it to not be here with self or others or whatever, right now, that’s the distraction.
And so it, it’s not just devices, it’s any range of activity. And so that capacity, like just kind of bring it full circle around, how do I find be, how do I become more present so that dis because trying to fight off distraction without clarity about what are we actually after? You can’t, you can’t win. No, he’s not gonna play out.
It’s gotta be the other way around. It’s like, what am I really valuing here and, and what is in this present moment? And then how do I, how do I make sure that mind is with body here now? Yeah. And I, I think a great way. I, I know for me in conversation when I’ve, uh, part of how I continue to train myself to show up Yeah.
Is, uh, and you, you made a reference to it earlier, Trevor, is when, uh, I, if I’m in a conversation and find my mind wandering, like it’s on different things, right? Um, uh, to, to, I’ll check in with myself. Uh, and often that’s just an internal dialogue. Say, whoa, whoa. You know, put that aside, like focus, uh, here, like, be here right now.
And it’s not a, it’s not a condemning voice. It’s not a, it’s like a, a reminder, Hey, hey, a little nudge, right? It’s a nudge, right? And there are times I, I know, uh, listen. Um, it’s easier to be fully present in a conversation that you’re prepared for and that is set aside for that purpose. But let’s face it, life isn’t always like that.
Think of, uh, all, all three of us have kids and, uh, uh, they’re not always waiting for the best moment to, uh, make a, a request or ask a question or share information with us. Right? Um, and uh, I find in those moments, especially if I’m actively doing something else and, uh, Sam or the girls are trying to share something with me, uh, it’s that, that’s like I’m, I’m highly susceptible to now not being in the moment, cuz I.
My mind was on something else. They’re now making a call to my attention, which I want to be present to. And one of the ways I train myself is if I’m not, if I’m, I’m struggling, I can, I, I’ll, I’ll simply say, Hey, listen buddy. Like, uh, uh, can you, dad was just distracted there. I was, my mind was on what I was doing, but I want to fully hear you.
Can you just start over? I feel like I missed a couple of, uh, bits there, and I wanna make sure I fully, uh, hear what you were trying to communicate to me. And that’s a, it’s just a, it’s a non-judgmental, non-critical, but I’m also signaling. To the people that matter most to me say, no, actually I, I don’t wanna fake it.
I, if I didn’t show up, there are moments where I don’t need to say anything. I just need to make the adjustment. But I find that, just that acknowledgement because if I try to fake it, but I just missed the first three minutes of the conversation cuz I didn’t quite fully hear them, then anything I say is gonna demonstrate I wasn’t there for the first three minutes.
Chances are the risk is high. So that acknowledgement is a reset and it also sends a message, uh, right. That actually hearing you is very important to. I wasn’t quite here with you at the beginning. Can we just, can we just start over quickly here? We’re more reset, we’re vulnerable to, to, yeah, that’s the word I was saying to.
Yeah. That’s such a vulnerable statement to make, to admit that because they, they may say, oh, you know, you’re not you, whatever response. But it, it’s just, it. I, I love that. And, and, and, uh, and for every time I get it right, I get it wrong. Yeah. It’s, it’s such a fyi. I’ll tell you one what it’s still working on.
It. It, I, I heard this on another podcast, uh, uh, a while ago, and I, I started doing, sorry. You’re listening to other podcasts. He, this is the second time now he admits to listening to other podcasts. And I, uh, I just, I don’t know, Steve. I I think we need to just take him out and post editing and, and it was a podcast.
There is no host. There is no host, Rob, who, it was a podcast that Steve was editing because he edits other podcasts. Huh? We’re not his only one. What? No, it, it, it actually, this wasn’t, I, I don’t remember where I the podcast. Do you host another podcast? Are you on another one? I, uh, what are we talking about here?
Um, I’m distracted. Robert, Brenda back. I heard this, I heard this line and I thought this, that’s the silliest, most simplistic, dumb thing. And I, but I decided to try it and I can’t get over. It works, uh, how often? I will just say, You know, no brain. We’re not gonna think about that right now. I love that you talked about that in a previous episode.
I love that with sleep. And that’s an interesting, that’s an interesting thought. That’s an, we’re not thinking about that. That’s, we’re not doing that right now. And I’ve done it even when I’m in conversations and I’m finding I’m drifting or whatever. That’s an interesting thought. We’re not gonna do that right now.
And it’s, I don’t know why it works, but it works because the brains literal. Because the brain’s lit. You’re right. Yeah. So, right, because if you say so, I know why it works. Yeah. Why am I so stupid? Your brain will go, oh, cuz of this. Let me let talk to you about that. If you. What’s a smart way to solve this problem?
Your brain will go, cause don’t give you all this and it just answers what, what you ask it. Yeah. So it follows instructions. Yeah. So the fact that, and I think most people go, it’s my brain, my thoughts, I have no control of it. Like, no, you do totally, you, you’ve got choice here. And another way to get. Got control back when our mind is kind of just scattered on multiple things.
Cause let’s, let’s face it, we’re human and there are moments where we do this better and there are days where we just have a number of things going on and perhaps we’re, we’re more tired, or we didn’t sleep well the night before, or there, you know, we’re facing a big deadline, so we’re under a bit more pressure, uh, than usual.
Or the kids are being more demanding than they usually are, right? Like, uh, there, there can be any number of factors that will compromise our ability to show up in the moment. So rather than beat ourselves up, there are these resets we can simply do. Uh, another thing that I find really useful to do is, is to capture, if a thought comes into my head, rather than just tell it, go away, especially if it’s something I have to do or it reminds me of something, a commitment that I made and I forgot to follow through or I need to follow through rather than try to.
Into my memory where, let’s face it, you know, I just turned 39 for the 13th year in a row. Finally. I really feel like I’m getting the hang of it. Um, but uh, to trust anything to memory, uh, is tricky, right? Like, cuz it’s easy to forget. So sometimes it’s like, gi can you gimme one second? I, and I’ll pull out my phone and this is where I use it in a, a way that helps me Yeah.
Note file, where I just capture things really, really quick. Uh, and I get them, I get the thought outta here cuz if I whatever you resist persists. Yeah. Right? And there’s nowhere that, that’s true more than in your thought life. If you try to resist. I can’t be thinking of, I need to buy this for dinner tonight while I’m talking to Trevor.
I can’t do it. Guess what your mind does. Yeah. Yeah. I’m already in the grocery store. I’m anticipating the lineup. I’m thinking of where it is in the, and I’m checked out even more. But if I took a moment and said, Trev, gimme one second. I want to be here right now, but I, I just need to get a couple things.
Okay. Thank you. And put the phone away. Yeah. Then I, I think that’s just, I don’t think people get offended by that, uh, unless you’re doing it like a hundred percent of the time. But yeah, it’s, it’s a great way to, um, why clutter the mind with information that can be easily retrieved later. The, uh, the Reminders app on my, uh, my device, Is my friend, and it’s, I, it’s amazing.
I, again, even my, my kids will sometimes joke about this or how often no matter what it is, it’s just I ask Siri to set a reminder for even if it’s, yeah, I, I try to use Siri and I use Siri all the time, but when you two yahoos are around as I’m dictating into my friends, you’re cursing in the background and all I end up with is swear words in a task list.
You know? That is the second time you’ve used Yahoos Yahoo, because you’re Yahoos. Yeah. You’re, but you’re my favorite. Yahoos. You’re yahoo.ca, yahoo. Is that still around? Being present. Yes. Uh, uh, just working with you guys has helped me to learn how to manage distractions. Uh, and that’s my biggest tactic.
Wait, when did you get here? Right, exactly. Um, I, I really hope that through this conversation, uh, today, that, uh, you’ve been able to pick up maybe a few, uh, ideas, some, uh, some, some, some practices that you might incorporate. Again, if you’re in a place where you’re working through, uh, uh, some of these distractions, maybe you’re kind of putting your hand up going, yeah, maybe I am struggling with screen time.
Whatever that might be. Uh, again, there’s no judgment here. This is a recognition that we are all on a journey of learning how to live our, our fullest, our richest life. And part of that is, is the idea of really being in the moment to be able to be present, to focus on what matters, uh, at that moment for us.
And, and to be able to do that. Uh, if, uh, if you’ve really, again, we appreciate so much that you’ve been a part of this, uh, taking this journey with us and, and part of this conversation. We’d love to hear your thoughts. Uh, we’d love to hear some of the things that you’ve done to, uh, to learn how to put aside some of the distractions to be able to be more focused.
Uh, and please leave a comment, uh, on whatever platform you’re listening to this or watching this. I appreciate you do that. Uh, uh, like the episode, subscribe. To the podcast. All of those things help us. Uh, one of the things we always appreciate is when somebody leaves a review, uh, whether it’s just giving us that, uh, five star or leaving a comment with the review, that is so helpful to us to be able to get the word out to more people.
But we do encourage you to do that. And our website, uh, living richly.me/act, uh, after every episode, both the, uh, current ones that are, uh, being released, including this one and all the episodes to date, uh, all of the tools, resources, books, articles that we mention. On an episode are listed there, and those resources are there to help you take next steps.
And, uh, you know, like when we talk about being present, like get present to what you think you need to do. Like what are, what is one thing you might begin to do to start living a more focused life and showing up more meaningfully? All those reasons, resources will be found there. And perhaps in there you’ll find something that can really, uh, help you on that journey.
If you want to make it real, post your scr your weekly average screen time in the comments. Damn. Wow. Throw it in there. See what you got. I, I’ll, I’ll put mine in there. All three. All three of our followers just unfollowed us. That’s no, no, it is too, too depressing to look at the, that’s too heavy, but it’s like a little bit of a gut check.
Yeah. But the, the other thing is, uh, if there’s someone else that you think would benefit from this, share this with him, tag them, let him. Um, the, we want to be able to help. Uh, we want your help as well, and so we can do this together. Um, so we, we’d love it if you can share that out. Make it a little bit more, uh, reach a few more people.
Thank you again for being part of, uh, the conversation, for listening in to the Living Richly podcast. Until next time, uh, we wish you the best.