If constantly flowing water can erode rock and create the Grand Canyon, then imagine what constantly flowing emails can do to you.
I was in Baltimore for a speaking engagement recently. I decided to stay a couple of extra days, rented a car, and traveled with my wife to Washington DC. I had never been. The morning we left, I noticed that my emails were no longer coming to my Blackberry. I called Kathie at my office, she stated that my email server was at capacity and she needed to back up and empty my trash folder. “Might take a little while”, she said. Like Linus reluctant to let go of his blanket, I went on with my day. Out of touch.
While in Washington we went to the White House. We went to the Lincoln Memorial. Then, we found ourselves at the Vietnam Memorial. I walked slowly along looking at all the names on the great wall. Every three steps I took represented another thousand men who died for our nation. We then made our way to the World War II Memorial. It took me at least 40 minutes to make my way around. I read stories of heroism, and quotes from Truman and Roosevelt. After an afternoon of honoring all those men and women who gave their lives so that I can live the life I enjoy, I reached into my pocket. I pulled out my phone, and still no emails.
I hope your emails stop, or your phone dies. At least temporarily. Mine did, and for those few hours, it was the best thing that happened to me in a long time. Vision, perspective, and inspiration can only come when your mind is clear from distraction. Later that evening, my emails came in. There were 72. Half were junk, and the rest I returned in the 30 minutes.
On any other day, I would have been thumbing through my phone. With each scroll and click, I would has stepped past another quote and another soldier not being revered or remembered. The tempo of life is at a new, unsurpassed pace. Information flows faster than ever. However, the information can be too much to absorb, and too easy to send. We are becoming victims of our own technology, and unless we learn how to manage it, it will overtake us. The world is changing. Don’t let it change you from being some who can stop, turn off, and pay attention to what truly matters.
Brennan Scanlon is a Referral Institute Franchise owner as well as an Executive Director for BNI, Business Network Int’l (www.bni-ohio.com) SW Ohio & No. KY Region. He has been ranked in the Top 10% of BNI Directors nationally for the last two consecutive years, this ranking resulting in performance reviews submitted by BNI members. Most recently, Brennan has been inducted into BNI’s Founder’s Circle 2008-2009 as nominated by his peers and approved by BNI’s Founder, Dr. Ivan Misner.