The Conscious Effort

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“The Old Ways are the best ways.” ~ James Bond, Skyfall
Do you remember the days before we had social media, apps, websites, e-mails, texts, blogs, & vlogs? Do you recall the personal connection of communicating by phone, actually hearing someone’s voice? Do you remember the good old days of a personal, one-on-one appointment, and of hand-written letters? I’ve been reflecting on this place to which technology has taken us. I don’t care for it. I know it has become an integral part of both business and personal life in the 21st century, but my question is, “Is it really a better way of doing business or having a conversation? Is it even a better way to communicate amongst friends or family?” I personally don’t think that it is. I prefer speaking with a person, hearing a voice, or looking someone in the eyes while we converse. I feel that we have become so distracted by technology and devices, that some can barely make eye contact when communicating. In addition to that, the average attention span has eroded.  For many years, my Facebook posts were detailed, containing information in which I felt people might be interested. For example, I would post a photo of an approved item, along with how it was able to be applied to my Nutrition Program, Remedy Recipes, and the locations where it was available for purchase. Over and over again, I’d get replies such as, “Where can I get this?” It was a clear indicator that most people were looking at the picture, and not reading the information that I had taken the time to post. It is equally frustrating in the website world. We live in a world of an incredible amount of available information, but much of the information lays dormant because people are looking at images or videos instead. The lack of attention span is and should be a concerning thing. Where is our world going with all of this technology?
That question is one to consider deeply. I realized recently that visits to Facebook were subtracting from my personal peace. I made a conscious effort and applied a decision that I concretely knew was the right direction for me. I’m limiting my time on Facebook to one day per week. I had considered removing myself completely from Facebook, but I decided that on Monday mornings, I will post for the week, and hope that those who had previously enjoyed my posts will continue to look forward to my Monday morning posts. There were also other reasons for my exit from Facebook, including their collection of data and details about our lives, the censorship of certain voices who the company disagrees with, as well as algorithms that made my viewership minuscule in comparison to the previous Facebook platform. I’m still on Twitter Monday-Saturday, but that is limited as well, depending on my schedule and time constraints.
In addition to technology, or the slow removal of myself from it, I have been considering altering my course of work, or at least possibly downsizing my business, and keeping a smaller clientele in a part-time capacity. The primary reason for this is the lack of reliability of in-person appointments. I am constantly bombarded with no-shows and last-minute cancellations. I do not make a salary. I depend on clients showing up for appointments that I’ve scheduled and confirmed. So, when half of a workweek bails at the last minute, and there’s not enough time to schedule anyone to fill those appointments, income is less than anticipated. It has increasingly been the case for a few years now. I attribute it to the technology distraction, and its effect on human reliability and personal accountability. It’s not just me. It’s a cultural epidemic in the service industry. Human beings are becoming far less thorough, far more distracted, and far less focused. Amidst all the technological calendars and appointment reminders, it seems that human beings have become far less organized as well. I do have about 10% of my clients who remain organized, reliable, and who pay attention to detail. I salute you & thank you for your thoroughness! I’m still contemplating which direction to take. I haven’t decided yet, as I am looking into some possible opportunities. I would like to continue doing what I do because I enjoy helping people achieve their goals and improve their health. I don’t mean this in a conceited way, but I am good at what I do, and I’ve been successful at it for 26 years now. If the reliability and personal accountability of appointments improves, I would like to continue seeing personal one-on-one consultations, because I really do enjoy the fulfilling aspects of my job. However, if the decline of accountability continues, I can be just as good at another career. First, we have to begin to see accountability of self, then accountability with others. These are skills that are severely lacking in today’s culture and society. Accountability is a big part of my job. I hold you accountable when you attend appointments. I can only do so if you show up. So, show up. Not only for me, but honestly, for you!
On a positive note, I thoroughly enjoyed my first Facebook-free week!  I replaced Facebook with good, old-fashioned sunrises! Each and every one of those mornings I watched it, listening to the sounds of the early mornings. The roosters, the crickets, the early birds, and the quietness of that sun rise brought a wonderful peace to my heart, my mind, and to my soul. It was a great time of day to reflect and pray. I also found myself getting outside more throughout the day, as if it was calling me to return to some primal need. I shot my bow all weekend, and enjoyed the outdoors without any need for technology. I just made the conscious effort and left it all behind. I recommend a return to simpler times, a time when we didn’t need all this chatter. Looking back, sometimes, we just needed a deep conversation, or even just the calming presence of another, or the solitude of nature with some time to think. It’s worth reflecting upon this. It’s worth asking yourself if you can detach from being connected to everything. It’s worth wondering where this technological path is taking us. Is it to a place that makes us better, or worse? Whatever you decide to do once you’ve discovered your answer, make the conscious effort to either stay attached or detach. Don’t allow yourself to be simply “caught up,” as if you’re trapped in a current. Swim freely and access the situation. Remember, we’re better than this. We can think for ourselves. We can better ourselves. We can make the conscious effort to do what is best for us, and to hold ourselves accountable in all things.
Happy Autumn!
Until next month, ~ John D.


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