In general I’ve been feeling scattered. I used to be praised for my memory but recently I feel like I can’t remember anything. Am I just getting old? Is something wrong with me?
Then, while I was reading Zen and the Art of Happiness I came across this quote:
The Zen of doing anything is doing it with a particular concentration of mind, a calmness and simplicity of mind, that brings the experience of enlightenment and, through that experience, happiness.
This got me thinking, I don’t feel like I do anything with a “particular concentration of mind” anymore. Not even simple things.
I used to watch TV and have all the dialogue memorized after only one viewing. Nowadays when I watch a show I usually only know about half of what happened in the episode because I am completely distracted by watching or reading other things on my iPhone.
I’ve even been thinking about how when patients are recovering from an accident doctors always ask them what the date is, I never know what the date is!
Recently I had a discussion with my Dad about how many mistakes people seem to make doing their jobs. How things are constantly done wrong and details are often are overlooked. I said, “I think people just have too much to do” and he said, “I think everything is just moving too fast”.
This really resonated with me. It seems like there is more pressure these days to do things quickly than to do them well.
Anyway, back to the quote. Upon reading this I have decided to set up a challenge for myself.
My goal is to mindfully only do one thing at a time. I’m hoping this will force me to concentrate, be more present in the moment and maybe have the peripheral effect of also reducing my screen time.
There are a few exceptions I am going to allow myself. These include:
- Listening to a podcast or music while driving or going for a walk
- Drinking water/coffee/tea while doing just about anything, but no eating food
- Needlepointing while watching TV
- Watching TV while working out
Does this concept resonate with anyone else? Would you be interested in participating in the challenge?
I will let you know how it goes, if I find it was worthwhile, and if I learn or observe anything interesting next week!