“The unexamined life is not worth living.”
I recently received an email from LinkedIn that they have ‘detected potential unauthorized’ access to my LinkedIn account, and consequently, my account has been temporarily restricted. (I believe in cause and effect and am also mindful that correlation is not causation). Due to high turnover, LinkedIn Customer Service has not responded to me on this issue! I would leave the fascinating story to another day because of its nuance and the fact that Linkindelin is investigating this.
What did I Learn?
Foremost, I witnessed the second law of thermodynamics in my Life: Things don’t wind up; they go down unless energy is applied. According to John C. Maxwell, Leadership is influence; a sound legacy develops only when a team has been trained and positioned to carry on.
The LinkedIn glitch gave me a natural break from social media, particularly LinkedIn. As you can imagine, it was frustrating for the first few days, not being able to connect with amazing colleagues and collaborators (? are these withdrawal symptoms?). However, reflecting and looking back, it was the best gift from LinkedIn this year!
Secondly, I have learned much about myself in the last few days. The lesson I would like to share in this blog is the importance of reflection, which is poignant in my Life! I have a system called “Wellness Edge,” there is a detailed chapter (What Darwin didn’t know?) on how to use this wellness tool in my book ‘ALIVE OR NOT ALIVE.’You can download a copy from our website at www.niranojomomdservices.com. The Wellness Edge system tracks your priorities and behaviors for 24 hours or 70 years. That’s not a typo; it’s entirely up to you. If you like, you can keep the Wellness edge as long as the World’s Longest Scientific Study of Happiness.
“Happiness is not someone ready-made. It comes from your actions.”
What is reflection?
I am not suggesting that we have to be like the great existential philosophers who have to turn to hermits to reflect on the meaning of Life and what matters. However, we need a balance between community and solitude, but it seems we need to get more of both now.
I would be delighted to hear from you if you can strike the right balance; maybe we can put this into a pill for the pharmaceutical company, really? Just kidding!
And why is this existential question so crucial in our lives, where we are constantly bombarded with billions of messages daily? This question takes me back memory lane, particularly to a blog I wrote for a friend and collaborator a few years ago. There is a reason why we write or journal, perhaps to help us slow down and get the proper perspective, mainly when our brain is not infallible, and make better decisions.
Back to my reflection, this is an excerpt from the Self-reflection blog by Dr. Larinde Ojomo, dated February 14, 2015. I cringed and had to resist the urge to rewrite the blog in my head. Did I write this blog? I can now see why family, friends, colleagues, and critics think I have changed, hopefully for the right reasons!
“…Like most people around the world, I often travel by road; M25 is my favorite, and the M25 is a 117-mile motorway which almost encircles Greater London. Initially, I observed my journey as mindful, conscious, and, on reflection, breathtaking magnificent scenery, particularly during the spring. However, like many people, I quickly switched to autopilot during most of my other journeys. Like many people, I have innumerable experiences every day, but struggle to learn from them because I never take the time to pause and reflect…”
The more I reflect on the above excerpt and wisdom gleaned from one of our trusted collaborators when we started our YouTube channel earlier this year, “the greatest successes come from having the freedom to fail.” If I may put a spin on this quote, ‘failing without reflecting and learning is like an alcoholic asking for another drink!’
Back to my morning rituals, this has changed as things are constantly in flux. As a writer, I write in the morning or journal, as detailed in my book ALIVE OR NOT ALIVE. That’s the best time for me to get the ‘boys in the basement’ on paper. I know some of you who do things differently, and I admire fellow writers who can write during the chaos of their day; that’s incredible!
I took a breath and sipped my coffee. Sitting and thinking in my new study, my Camp David is refreshing with such a fantastic panoramic view!
Knock! Knock! Interestingly, my daughter interrupted my thoughts. She opened the door. Dad, I need to ask you a question. After our conversation, she quickly closed the door as if she had an urgent matter. Like mindfulness meditation, I took a breath and returned to my writing. I thought for a few seconds about loving our children unconditionally. Can this cure the rising mental health issues in our teenage population or help them manage their attention in a world full of distractions?
It’s interesting to see my two kids (tween) have different rituals and develop healthy coping skills, though they still prefer electronics to do their journaling. Of course, they are ‘good enough’ but still need mentoring and coaching. The other day, after I showed them the video of President Joe Biden talking about his ‘Mental Health’ on Jay Shirley podcast, I read aloud as if I was Ezra, the scribe (really? just joking!) from one of my favorite books “Brain Energy” authored by Chris M Palmer, MD. According to Dr. Palmer, depression in children, adolescents, and young adults is also increasing. From 2006 to 2017, rates of depression in the US increased by 68 percent in children ages 12 to 17. In people ages 18 to 25, there was an increase of 49 percent. For Adults over 25, the rate of depression supposedly stables.
Let’s pause and think about the above alarming statistics for a minute.
Like Epictetus, I tried my best to ask myself the following questions at the start of the year; however, like most of us, I have fallen off the metaphorical wagon, but thank god for the break from social media and getting back to these existential questions.
• What am I lacking in attaining freedom from passion?
• What for tranquility?
• What am I? A mere body, estate-holder, or reputation? None of these things.
• What, then? A rational being.
• What then is demanded of me? Meditate on your actions.
• How did I steer away from serenity?
• What did I do that was unfriendly, unsocial, or uncaring?
• What did I fail to do in all these things?
• What am I missing?
Back to my earlier question, are we balancing community and reflection correctly?
If yes, we are getting both, right?
During one of my recent wellness Walks, I met Dan (not his real name), and we reflected on the local park being one of the biggest parks in Canada despite being mostly empty during summer months. I keenly observed he was doing interval runs up the Hill despite being in his 70s. Our conversation and relationship is a summary of the fascinating book ‘The Good Life’ based on one of the Longest Harvard studies. I suggest you get a copy of the book from two outstanding scholars, but if you are busy like me, you might want to read our blog titled “A River Without Banks is a large puddle .” All my conversations with people who have lived the Good Life are not scripted but genuine conversations from which we can all learn.
“It’s such a large and iconic tree but also a meeting place and shelter. Kids can run under the tree’s shade while the parents sit around and talk. It’s a safe and happy place where undoubtedly romance is made.”
– Arborist Steve Nimz about the 150-yeard banyan tree in Lahaina, Hawaii
Do share your thoughts in the comments below.
I like a meaningful discourse if you have an appetite for one, which may stimulate our following newsletter’s theme.
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