Personal breakdowns may occur throughout our lives, it is the choices we make that ultimately determine how we deal with these experiences. If we have a bad experience, one of two things can happen. We can see the experience as a lesson and a blessing in disguise, or we can see the experience as failure and ourselves as the victim! When Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, he tried over 2000 experiments before he got it to work. A reporter asked him how it felt to fail so many times. He said,
“I never failed once. I invented the light bulb. It just happened to be a 2000-step process.”
Being Aware Of Experiences
This is a good example of the primary difference between people who are aware of their experiences and those who are at the mercy of their experiences. If Edison had stopped before his discovery he would have gone down in history as a crank that had some crazy idea that never worked. Many of us have great ideas and visions yet we self-sabotage any hope of experiencing what we really want.
Since Edison’s discovery, modern society and many of the individuals within it have lent themselves to being conditioned. Life and its great mysteries can be glossed over. Many of us end up confused, isolated and questioning. Engaged in trivial activities or hedonistic pursuits we try to distract ourselves from the deeper meaning of life. It seems that entertainment is the modern day cursor for the masses. Everyone wants to be entertained in some way, shape or form. This brings about short term satisfaction and leaves us feeling empty. The way in which we spend our free time shapes how we live and defines our existence. For some, activities become obsessions and lead to an unbalanced and empty life. Let’s take the humble television as an example. On average in Western countries people watch 22 hours of television per week. In some countries such as the United States, United Kingdom and Italy these figures average over 28 hours per week. These figures are astounding. A recent US study showed that on average only 19 minutes per day was spent on other more dynamic activities such as exercise. Ultimately it is up to the individual to choose how they spend their lives. The problem with many of these passive activities is that they encourage entropy of the mind and senses. In small controlled amounts television has some benefits, however like anything when it becomes all consuming and an addiction it can become quite harmful. Any activity that becomes an obsession becomes a distraction from reality. People use tools like television to escape their realities and end up immersing their identity with the lives of others.
TV & The Brain
The mind needs stimulation and a creative outlet. When it is fed information and images that require minimal effort the brain shuts off and goes into hibernation mode. Have you ever noticed how after watching a non-educational television program you feel empty and unmotivated? This is because your mind does not need to work, basically switching itself off as if on standby mode. On the other hand when you are performing a creative activity like painting, reading or writing the brain feels alive, and so do you, as the mind is being stimulated. Television is easily accessible to most people in the western world. It provides short term pleasure and helps us forget about the issues of the day. Television is one of the biggest thieves of time that exists in modern society today. We have to realise that the quality of our lives is determined by our actions or in-actions. Our potential is limitless, we just have to be aware that our life is a function of our habits and manage these accordingly.
Over the last century humankind has strived to improve in many ways. Humans spend vast amounts of money developing better exercise programs, faster more efficient technological devices, a multitude of ways to look younger and we’re constantly looking for ways to entertain ourselves. Have we ever really stopped and asked why we do this? Have we ever really taken the time to analyze what we do and why we do it? The few who have taken the time to look past the physical world have become masters and enlightened. The vast majority go around on the treadmill of life without ever really questioning their existence. Many people are asleep at the wheel of their lives, just going through the motions. We all belong to one family. Sometimes family members fall asleep and need to be woken up. It is our job to help others awaken so that they can experience their true potential. So switch off the television, read, expand your mind and do something truly inspirational.
Article by Andrew Martin taken from his book One ~ A Survival Guide for the Future…
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