Life is full of oddities. As we evolve and advance as a society the environment changes. As our climate shifts, so do our habits – good and bad. The complexities and obstacles of life need new solutions. In today’s world, there arise problems that didn’t exist before, but are sure to affect our health in negative ways if we allow them to go unchecked. Below are three that are noteworthy.
Stop Watching, Go Live
One of the most destructive habits we’ve developed as a society is something I like to call “onlooker syndrome.” “Onlooker syndrome” is when you spend way too much time watching others live out their dreams, create successes, and take on new adventures while you sit back and admire them for it. Although this may seem completely innocent, it can very much become destructive in our lives.
Onlooker syndrome takes many forms. The most obvious is spending excessive amounts of time in front of the television, and not enough time outside experiencing life. I get it, it’s easier to watch others take risks, go on adventures, or make mistakes. Furthermore, who wouldn’t want to curl up on the couch after an 8-12 hour shift and watch television for 4 hours. The truth is, all you want to do is relax and vegetate after a stressful day. But when it keeps you from living out your dreams or creating meaningful experiences, it becomes life depreciating. It takes a lot more guts, and certainly more work to go out and make your own memories, but it is so much more enriching.
Don’t get me wrong. Watching television has a purpose. It can enlighten, spread knowledge, inspire, and even motivate. I like watching movies just as much as the next guy. But knowledge, inspiration, or motivation does us no good without execution. Execution trumps knowledge every time.Execution trumps knowledge every time Click To Tweet
Would you not much rather reach the end of your life knowing that you played more sports than you watched? That you went on more adventures than you ever saw anyone else go on? That instead of watching others win at their dreams, you gave yours a fair chance? In the end, who you watched do something and for how long won’t matter. How we spent our time living out our dreams and passions will. And no, watching television doesn’t count as a passion – nice try.
Chances are you spend way too much time looking down at your phone. We live in a digital age, and it’s become part of our daily lives now. The advances in technology now-in-days have made our lives more convenient than ever before. However, there is a small problem. The same devices that were meant to bring us closer together, ironically, seem to be pushing us further apart.same devices meant to bring us closer together, ironically, seem to be pushing us further apart. Click To Tweet
Cell phones, tablets, computers, these things should never be seen as a way to replace face-to-face interaction. They should be seen more as a supplement in times of need. Yet, we see full families sitting at dinner tables with everyone on their phones. We see fewer people speaking to each other face-to-face. Instead, we resort to texts and emails. Facebook and Instagram. Communication loses its intimacy in this way. It also likely takes more time, and makes it harder for us to reach concrete solutions.
Many studies have been done to determine the best modes of communication, and face-to-face wins every time. I’m not undermining the usefulness of smart devices, simply stating that there is no time like the present. And when you are presently with family, friends, or strangers even, take full advantage of that moment. No cellphone or smart device will ever get you closer to that person than you are right then – well, unless they come up with some crazy way to communicate with each other in the future.
If you make a habit of paying attention to what and who’s in front of you – instead of browsing through someone’s Facebook profile whose miles away – you’ll find that your relationships will inevitably become healthier.
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Invest in Yourself
It’s a funny era we live in today, where spending $800 on a new tablet is justifiable, but spending $200 on medical care is too expensive. Where spending $300 worth of fast food is ok, but spending the same amount on groceries is insane. In some studies, Americans have even shown to spend more money eating out than they do on their groceries.
Obviously, there are of course situations in which it can be classified as a necessity, and that’s understandable. For example, that tablet may be needed for work purposes due to special circumstances that won’t allow you to use your computer. However, I’d argue that for most of us, that’s not the case. Buying a tablet to stream videos, listen to music, or play games is not a necessity.
For others, it might be a matter of convenience. Which can be justified as well, as a way to save time or have access to better tools. However, spending money on actual necessities should never be second to luxury items.
Take for example food, or medical care. Food is necessary – I don’t think many will argue that. In many cases, consuming the right foods can prevent illnesses that would require medical attention in the future. Yet, many times we find ourselves placing higher value on luxury items – because it’s what everyone else is doing – instead of spending money on quality foods, education, and other services that would promote good health and further enrich our lives.
I can’t think of many things more important than your health. Good health is what allows us to live out our lives at its highest quality. It’s what allows us to go to work and bring home the bacon – or veggie bacon. In fact, without good health I’m not sure we’d have the means to buy luxury items – especially after all the medical bills.
It’s a good thing to indulge from time to time. But when we spend more on luxury expenses than the essentials, when we complain we don’t have money to buy healthier foods or pay our medical bills, but spend copious amounts of money on smart devices we don’t need – we’ve gone too far. What’s more, most luxury items like tablets, phones, or unnecessarily expensive television sets depreciate in value fairly quickly. Whereas taking care of yourself will pay dividends for years to come.
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