An outside perspective is always helpful.
I recently read Meeting in the Middle: Learning from a Luddite and it hit on something I often consider. The author is a digital native and comfortable with computers and the internet. Her husband is not.
A Luddite is someone who is actively opposed to new technology. That’s what my husband was.
She spent time online surfing and checking stats. He detested the world computers had made. But this is not a story of how her husband was wrong and eventually saw the light.
I became a little jealous: after all, his digital footprint was virtually non-existent while mine was a cluttered mess.
So she deleted. Vine. LinkedIn. Facebook served as a reminder of how much junk she had shard in the past. Something I’ve become reminded of as Facebook shows me the stupid pictures or signs or silly products I shared years ago.
There is a balance to find in your life. It’s not going to be the same for everyone. But it’s there. The trick is to find it.
I find a line between computers and mobile devices works for me. When I’m on a computer, I’m working. I’m writing or editing. I’m at work answering calls and fixing problems.
And when I’m mobile. I’m playing. I’m chatting with friends. I’m reading my favorite writers in blog or book or newsletter. But most often I’m listening.
Podcasts. Audiobooks. Music. There’s always something in my ears. I compose a complete soundtrack to my life. And that works for me.
If you’re feeling lost or off-balance I have some advice. Consider an outside perspective.
It’s hard to see your life clearly when you’re living it. I’ve fallen deeply in love with someone who made me a worse person. But I couldn’t see it. I was stuck in my life. I tried to make it work or change. I ignored my friends who told me how unhappy I was and how the relationship was terrible. But I didn’t listen.
Until it ends. And looking back, I can’t believe how miserable I was. I couldn’t believe what I had done to myself for so long.
Another prime example of considering an outside perspective is starting a new job.
I started a new job and went from working primarily alone to being part of an established team. Before, I made up everything as I went along and I had no one to consult. My word was law.
Now, I’m working in an established system with pre-defined habits. There’s the way we have always done it. Which is not always the best way. It made me smile last week when my team lead turned to me and said, if you see places we can improve information or processes, tell us about it.
I have fresh eyes. I don’t know how things are supposed to be done and I can bring that beginner’s mind to the team.
It’s valuable to look outside yourself and your normal. You can’t see the problems when you’re inside of it. But from the outside, the issues are crystal clear.