Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Distracted? Don't be.

It is amazing what you can do with five hours of solitude.

Yesterday, I boarded a five-hour LAX bound flight with a broken set of headphones. That may not seem like a detrimental statement, but let me enlighten you: My iPod and the in-flight film are typically my go to's for passing time. I was disheartened to realize that I was out of luck but took it upon myself to find a new use of this new concept of "free time."

I spent time the first half of the flight reading a book that I've had on my nightstand for several weeks now - The Essential Wooden (Coach Wooden's guide to leadership and life) and while I highly recommend the book, there is one thing in particular that stood out and I knew I had to share here:

""Worry" is fretting about the future. "Concern" is figuring out future solutions. When you are "concerned," you're going to analyze and determine where and how to improve. If you're "worried," you're just fretting that things won't turn out right regardless of what you do - wringing your hands and imagining bad things. "Concern" leads to results; "worry" results in losing a good night's sleep."

Well I don't know about you, but I like the idea of getting a good night's sleep! Wooden's philosophy seems so simple - worrying is a waste of time and energy, while concern is an effective use of brainpower. A-ha! Suddenly after two hours on a flight I had the answer to living a stress free life. And now you do too. What a great way to start the week.

After I needed a break from reading, I decided to take some time to release the creative energy I've been unintentionally storing for awhile. I productively started writing the book that I have been meaning to sit down and work on, and within a half an hour of nonstop typing (I think I'm up to 80 WPM on the iPad now!) I feel excited about where things are headed.

And last, I played a few rounds of good old solitaire. Nothing beats a mindless computer game once in a while!

My point for all of this rambling? Once in a while, disconnecting yourself from your usual habits can have a positive effect. It is easy to forget to actually listen to what is going on in your own mind when there are a million reasons to distract yourself.. but you may be surprised at how rewarding it is.

In the meantime, I seriously need to invest in some new earbuds! My iPod-less life is quiet.

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  1. I love flights for this reason. It's a change of pace in your working schedule and allows you to reflect. I heard that the same thing happens when were stuck in traffic on the way home from work. Were able to unwind and think.

  2. Good for you! I'm going to check out the Coach's book--sounds good! And any hints about the book you are writing? ;-) Good luck, regardless. Writing a book is an undertaking--I've been stuck on chapter 4 of mine for way too long.

  3. It's great to hear from both of you! Thanks for the comments.

    S- As far as the book, I am taking a similar approach as my blog. I'm not too sure what to expect yet - it will be an adventure!