“Monday 5 Things”™ ….. Disconnect, Connect, & Reconnect …..

Dsc 1293 1 2Photo: D. Paul Graham, ‘Can You Hear Me Now?”, Athens GA circa 2016

“Monday 5 Things”™ ….. Disconnect, Connect & Reconnect …..

Years ago, while out for an early morning walk in Athens before meetings, I saw the pay phone, the handset ripped from the cord. I chuckled to myself with the pre-cell phone memory of the Kodachrome container of quarters I kept in my car to make phone calls if I was out of the house or the office. I mused at how we used to be bound by that little curly cord that connected the handset. Over four decades later, we are allegorically bound even tighter without a chord on our phone. The Daily Mail referenced a study that, on average, people check their phones an average of 150 times a day; accounting for 7 hours of sleep, we check our not-so smart phones just under every 7 minutes. I’m not proud of the fact that on any given day I may exceed that average. A simple photograph of the payphone provided a real-life metaphor for this morning’s M5T to 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 (easier said than done for me!). 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 always have to 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 FOMO. Embrace the JOMO. Connect to your passions and calling in life. Decide 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 and revel in the 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. Act. 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 travelled.

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

© 2023 D. Paul Graham, all rights reserved.

For over 11 years, D. Paul Graham has published “Monday 5 Things” ™, also known to readers as M5T. You can reach Paul by email at dpg@imagegraham.com