I’ll trade social media and screen time for exercise and serving others in face-to-face situations. How about you? Our world today is full of people spending countless hours, days and ultimately years of their lives posting self-serving images and stories. And they get green with envy watching others live their lives via social media. It all leads me to simply ask: Why?
This may sound like the opinion of a man nearing 60, or the son of a World War II veteran, or maybe it sounds like an entrepreneur with a tendency for innovation. Better yet, it should sound like a challenge to many.
I challenge you take your life and health back. I challenge you to be a leader to your work team, your family, children and your grandchildren (for those of you whom this applies). Tuck them under your wing, walk besides them, meet them at their personal crossroads so you can provide them with wisdom, experience, accountability, and a good old-fashioned challenge.
There are so many statistics available to validate where our country is now, and many of them are not positive. For example, teenage suicide rates have been escalating in direct proportion to smartphone use. More than half of people 17 to 25 years old could not pass the basic physical fitness test to enlist in military service. Our family meals are full of people silent and staring into their screens, eating meals from boxes or carry-out containers. And if the new restaurant we have never been to doesn’t have a great Yelp following, then we avoid it instead of trying it for ourselves.
Comfort has never been a motivator, and ease has never created a rock star. Those who have never had a blister, or better yet worked through one for days and weeks, know what it’s like to earn a callus. They don’t know and have never experienced what it’s like to push through life’s toughest challenges and emerge as a success.
Individuals who spend time serving others start simply by asking those around them, “Can I help you with anything?” Try it sometime. It’s such a cool experience, especially if they answer you with something you can do for them. And if you can’t abide, maybe you can connect them with someone you know who can meet their needs.
Life is too short, as we’re constantly reminded. And during our brief journeys we’re challenged to leave this place better than when we arrived. And the only way to succeed in this endeavor is to offer up your time, treasures, and talents. And as such, the only demands we should place on ourselves is to work hard, to lead others through example, and to focus on love, not fear.
Because in the end how do you want to be remembered? I promise you it’s not the money you made, or the social media posts that got liked, or the movies you posted, and so on.
Consider the people in your own life who lived their lives to the fullest and left legacies. What does a legacy look like? I guarantee you’re likely to remember all the good times you had together, how they made you feel good about yourself when you were around them, how their generosity touched your heart and inspired others. They made a difference by transforming the lives of who they encountered during theirs.
So, why not take the challenge an unplug in order to reconnect and be present. No one is perfect, but we can all strive to be our best selves because that’s what’s cool about this journey.