Nothing MattersEverything has a natural balance, defined by contrast. There's a wide spectrum of variation, but at the far ends good is defined by bad, light is defined by dark and noise is defined by quiet. It's hard to imagine music without spaces in between the notes, or between the beats. Sound and silence work together in harmony to form melody and rhythm.
These days we're perpetually bombarded by an endless stream of adverts, updates and notifications 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Every new message is more important than the last. Bright lights keep us awake and disrupt our quiet time, leaving us unbalanced.
“There's a fear that if we switch off, we're out of the loop. Disconnected from the global consciousness...”
Companies like Apple, who unwittingly helped to create the problem, are now scrambling to build features into their products to lessen the effects. Included in a recent iOS update, Focus allows you to block out distractions and only allow important things like emergency calls through. This goes a long way towards protecting iPhone owners from noise, but there's no guarantee how many people will actually use the feature.
There's a fear that if we switch off, we're out of the loop. Disconnected from the global consciousness with growing anxiety about what will be waiting for us when we switch back on. But human beings aren't designed to be 'on' all the time, that's why we sleep. About one third of the day (8 hours out of 24) we're meant to be totally disconnected, blissfully unaware of everything around us. This daily period of 'nothing' gives much-needed balance to our lives, allowing our brains to process sensory input, so we can learn from our experiences.
“...time to yourself away from noise can be incredibly beneficial for your mental health and creativity.”
Nothing (here meaning the absence of noise and distractions) therefore matters. In his short and incredibly insightful TED Talk, scientist Matt Walker describes sleep as your 'superpower' and highlights its many benefits, from boosted immunity to better concentration. If you have a few minutes to spare, we urge you to watch it. It could literally save your life.
Sleep shouldn't be your only refuge. Even if it's just a few brief moments in the day, like taking a shower or making something to eat, time to yourself away from noise can be incredibly beneficial for your mental health and creativity.
“We have a limited time here, so don't be a consumer, be a creator. A leader, not a follower.”
Although it may seem that way, the world's best artists and photographers didn't get where they are today because of the amount of time they spend on Instagram. They put thousands of hours into learning everything about their craft, talking to people, creating connections, promoting themselves and improving their skills.
The next time you're about to check your phone or watch TV, perhaps do something offline instead. It's a tough habit to break, but little by little you'll notice you need it less. We have a limited time here, so don't be a consumer, be a creator. A leader, not a follower. You won't look back and wish you'd spent more time in front of a screen.