"Monday 5 Things" with D. Paul Graham


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Photo: D. Paul Graham

Monday 5 Things…..Disconnect, Connect or Reconnect…..

Sipping a cup of coffee pondering life early on a cold rainy morning, I glanced across the room and saw an old off-white colored telephone – a touch button land line, circa 1980’s that adorned kitchen and bedrooms in most households for years. I mused at how we used to be bound by that little curly cord that connected the handset. Then it dawned on me that today, over three decades later, we are metaphorically bound even tighter without a chord on our phone. The Daily Mail referenced a study that, on average, people check their phones every 6.5 minutes – an average of 150 times per day. I’m not proud of the fact that on any given day I may exceed that average. A simple glance at a curly cord made me think through today’s M5T and consider disconnecting, connecting, and reconnecting in life.

1. Technology

Disconnect from the tyranny of cell phones, email and texts. Eliminate gadgets. Turn the TV off or go wild and actually cut the cable cord. Set specific times through the day to check email rather than being at the beck and call of the “ping” of new mail and texts. Stay off Facebook for a day. Go 30 days straight with a no phone policy for breakfast, lunch or dinners (gasp, or all three) when you are with someone. You might be amazed what you talk about (or think about) without distraction. Connect to alternative options that takes your eyes off the little white screen. Read a book – a real book, not an e-reader, that you hold in your hands. Write in the margins and put it on a bookshelf. Play a game of scrabble, cribbage, or monopoly. Leave the phone in your car and go for a walk. Reconnect by giving yourself time to find alternative options for how you use your time, to power down, to take a breather. Unload the unnecessary. Go through the day on your timeline not on someone else’s expectations – there is not much in life that can’t wait 30 minutes or longer for a response.

2. Relationships

Disconnect from toxic people in your life. Learn to set boundaries; to say no. Realize you don’t have to always be right. Connect with those that really matter and believe in you. Learn to say yes. Choose your words wisely. Learn to really listen. Reconnect by reaching out to those that you’ve lost touch with, those that you’ve hurt, or have been hurt by. Don’t wait to forgive, apologize or say I love you.

3. Dreams and Fears

Disconnect from the fears and people that hold you back. Refuse to accept mediocrity. Stop making excuses, procrastinating or clinging to indecision. Drop the fear of missing out. Connect to your passions, your calling in life. Make a decision to just start, whatever that is to you. Reconnect by uncovering the dreams of that you’ve suppressed. Learn from your failures and move on. Allow yourself to get excited again about your gifts, your talents, your dreams and your desires.

4. Learning

Disconnect from bad habits and negative behavior. Connect to positive thoughts and people. Take a look at what you see every day, but walk by and ignore. Stop to look, to listen, to smell. Consciously try to learn something new every day. Learn to cook, to dance, to speak a new language. Learn to play an instrument. Learn to fly - figuratively or literally. Reconnect by staying curious. Always ask why. Recapture that child-like curiosity, wonder and joy of new experiences.

5. Life

Disconnect from needless worry. Refuse to listen to negative voices inwardly and outwardly. Take off the mask and show people the real you. Learn to be comfortable that not everyone will like you. Connect to you and learn to love yourself. Take action. Face your challenges head on. Believe that you are worthy. Live in the moment. Find comfort in your solitude. Know what you believe in and the foundations of your faith. Reconnect by changing your perspective, embracing change and choosing the road less traveled.

Here’s to a week of making all the right connections.

© 2018 D. Paul Graham, all rights reserved.

D. Paul Graham is passionate about people, culture, photography and business. He has embraced his wanderlust with his travels around the globe and is at peace with his need for spirited drives in all things automotive.

You can find M5T each Monday here on www.southmag.com and by friending D. Paul Graham on Facebook. Paul is also a contributing photographer to South Magazine. His photographic work can be found on Instagram @dpgraham and at www.imageGRAHAM.com. Your feedback is always welcome. Email Paul at dpg@imagegraham.com