Success

Dreams rarely turn into reality without three ingredients.

A Goal

A Plan

An Effort

Often there is a plan of action and a commitment to the work that it’s going to take to achieve the goal, but no clearly defined goal.

Or no plan but a clear dream.

And a commitment to the amount of effort and sacrifice it will take to realize the dream is either not considered or underestimated.

Success is not a fantasy.  It is a well organized, methodical approach that guarantees the necessary things get done.

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How to Use Your Phone Less

On a weekend visit to a local arboretum recently, I saw hundreds of people taking in the adjoining gardens, fountains and meadows and only two people that I counted texting.

It’s easy to say use your phones less, but more helpful to replace it with something compelling to do in real time.

These visitors didn’t turn their phones off or put them away, they just used the camera more than chat leaving Instagram for later.

An obvious choice to enjoy the beauty, the day and the company, people of all ages, races and genders were choosing to be present in the now.

The more time we devote to passive digital living, the more we miss out on other things that make us feel happy and connected.

It’s not an either or.

It’s what’s best for the situation.

Take control and actively create more in-person focused situations and the phone will take its place as a helpful tool and not a replacement for nothing else to do.

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The Fear of Missing Something

The reason our phone is in our hand is because we fear missing something.

The average number of times a person checks their phone each day is 150 times.

Even if it does vibrate, we check anyway in anticipation.

The fear of missing something is eclipsing what we’re really missing – each other, new experiences, the beauty around us, time to think.

Take control.

Spend an equal amount of time discovering something new not fearing what you will miss.

Instead of pounding away at your phone to keep the fear of missing something away, change your goal to have the highest quality relationship with other people – on and off the phone.

Be more focused on what you’re missing in real time than on your phone – helpful reminders change habits.

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Becoming More Focused

We self-interrupt every 3½ minutes.

That is not counting the interruptions that are initiated by others.

You’re collaborating in a group and trying to use your 3½ minutes to the best of your ability and someone contacts you with input, requesting information or asking for something.

Multi-tasking is a fad that never really worked.  It just sounded good.

Working or living with constant interruptions, some of which we ourselves are causing, is a difficult way to be productive or happy for that matter.

First steps toward becoming more focused:

Eliminate the interruptions of others (example:  set your phone on “do not disturb”)

Do not respond immediately to interrupters, it just brings more unfocused chat 

Don’t click on anything digital immediately

Don’t check the phone to see what you’ll get 

It takes 23 minutes to refocus our attention after we interrupt each other – a good motivation to take control to regain control.

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Face Time

A teenage girl in Abington, PA was crossing the street in a crosswalk near her high school August 23 when she was hit by an SUV in broad daylight.

The driver wasn’t charged because the girl was looking at her phone and engaged in a FaceTime video chat when she was injured and hospitalized in critical condition.

Distracted living is deadly for safety – New York City has an outbreak of walkers who get hit by cars every day when they fail to pay attention crossing streets – but also deadly for relationships.

Face time is time spent in present company not on social media or chat apps.

For every minute spent safely on digital chat, at least the same time should be spent in real time 100% focused on another person.

It has only been ten years since the iPhone was introduced but in that period phones have replaced real relationships with both unrecognized and even deadly results.

A phone is a tool not a life.

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