“Do you want Beethoven to be the last thing you hear?” This is the question in an ad promoting public safety in San Francisco. This city has seen an alarming rise in the number of accidents involving transit vehicles and people. Texas has started a similar campaign. The National Safety council reports that cell phone use contributed to 1.6 million accidents in 2011.
The point is, tuning into an endless stream of personal distractions and tuning out the world around you can have dire consequences. This isn’t so much a public safety message. It’s more of a wake up message to urge you to become more aware of missed opportunities.
How much do you tune into the world around you?
When at the gym recently, I couldn’t help but notice the number of people intent on their small screens, on messages, on music, or on a phone conversation. What about working out? They were not even tuning in to others around them, including people waiting for a certain piece of equipment.
This isn’t a rant about manners either. I want to go deeper.
Are your best life opportunities going unnoticed?
Letting yourself take in and respond to the world around you, even for a minute, can change your life forever. Let’s say you’re single and looking of someone special, and the most perfect, wonderfully available person stops by. And you never look up from your phone. This is the kind of missed opportunity I’m talking about. Or let’s say you’re texting your friend that you’re running late, which slows down your trip to the subway, and you miss your train – now you’re late for sure. More time away from where you want to be.
Still not convinced that your world is ready for you to open up for richer experiences, even life-changing ideas?
Quiet time allows us to think about problems, situations, the future, the past, and to just listen to what the universe has to say to us in response to our thinking. Giving yourself time for mental peace and quiet can bring about amazing results in your own health and well being. It’s not magic; it’s just common sense.
What happens when you allow yourself to talk to someone new, or take a moment for reflection? Take some time to stop multi tasking – it’s not as efficient as most people think, and it definitely raises your stress. Open to what the universe has to say in response to just being aware of the world around you.
It’s common sense. But it bears repeating. What if we could tune in more willingly to our world and each other? I’m thinking about the young man I heard about recently who went walking on some train tracks, headphones on, music loud enough to drown out the sound of the oncoming train. It’s tragic that he will never know what life had in store for him or for other people.
This is a more recent version of the article, Don’t Miss Out On Life, just published in the Epoch Times.