Time for a selfie

According to a wave of recent reporting, the prevalence of taking a selfie is utterly staggering: the average millennial will take 25,700 in their lifetime; it is claimed that females aged 16 to 25 spend five hours taking selfies per week; and on average, 93 million selfies are taken worldwide each day.

That’s a lot of studies of self!

Or rather images of our exterior, it’s almost as if humans have become peacocks, displaying ourselves to the world. The questions that come to mind are, ‘does this behaviour increase happiness’? And ‘does it in any way aide self-development’?

For sure they are fun, although we should all take note that as the desire to capture the most exotic of views behind us increases, the number of accidents and fatalities has commensurably increased! But how come we will devote so much time and effort to grabbing a photo and so little time holding up the metaphoric mirror to ourselves and doing some inner reflection?

For millennia, the practices of meditation, quiet reflection and contemplation have yielded great insights and produced some pearls of wisdom; just take a look on Facebook to see the hundreds of great quotations posted daily.  Interestingly, many people are inspired for a short period of time….until the next thing of interest attracts them.

In the land of instant access, instant results, almost instant everything; there comes a price, not in financial terms, but in terms of inner peace and tranquillity. Someone once said to me “if you could bottle peace of mind, you would make a fortune.” Yet peace of mind comes from getting it together with your inner self, taking the time to connect and to communicate well internally, to gain a greater sense of Self and the relationship you have with the world.

Maybe it’s time more people took Real Selfies, but without that selfie stick! J


The Power of Reflection

Doesn’t time fly! How often do you hear yourself saying that? How often do you find yourself squeezing a pint into a half pint glass?
Increasingly we are trying to do more and more, whether that is in work or in our private lives, our aspirations have increased, our resources greater; our time… fixed!
At work we may be competing in a global market or working with decreased budgets as public expenditure is put under pressure, yet our customers and service users have increasing expectations and it would seem, less tolerance of other-than-instant service or response. From where and how this culture of Instantism has developed is interesting, one of the main drivers has been the development of the web, and mobile technology utilising it. We are so much more connected! Always available, always able to see what is going on remotely from us. This has brought great opportunity, created financial wealth, raised aspiration and nothing wrong in any of those, but I wonder if what these may have facilitated is an increased focus on the external world and as a consequence, less attention on the inner world.
Achieving balance is a universal rule! Without it, the consequences can be and often are profound and they may not appear in the short term, but over time, the pressure builds up for a correction. Think of it like the game Buckaroo; you keep loading the mule with items until all of a sudden, the mule bucks to throw off all the items to return to an unloaded state. We don’t need or have to wait for a big correction, a bit like an aeroplane crossing from London to New York, if we regularly check in, keep track of where we are and what is going on, we can make almost imperceptible adjustments to our course to ensure we get to our destination safely and on time.
So how often do you check in with yourself in your busy life? How often are you making the time to pause and reflect? Ancient wisdom and traditions make this time and space, it helps to keep us grounded and in touch with ourselves, attend to what is going on, evaluate and make adjustments. We benefit from making time for ourselves, not to do yet another thing, but to pause and reflect.