Did you ever ask yourself the question asked in the title of this article? I have many times. At the age of 69, I will be entering the eighth decade of my life next year. I intend to make it the best. If we don’t dream we may drift. If we don’t have a focus we may find ourselves engaged in worthless pursuits. There is a big difference between simply being busy and doing things that really matter. This generation seems to be a very unfocused age group. People are heavily involved in video games, social media, texting, and buying all the latest electronic “toys.” While some of this is worthwhile, much of it is a waste of time.
There is nothing wrong with any of these activities, but it is a question of how much time is spent doing them. A recent survey revealed that the average high school senior spends 6 hours a day online. This includes social media, texting, gaming, and surfing the web. The survey didn’t say if surfing the web includes time spent at school doing research or homework, but even if it does, this is a huge amount of time.
The article from which I took this above information also stated that TV watching is declining, which is probably a good thing. However, it also stated that social media and the other things mentioned above have also replaced reading newspapers and even reading books for pleasure. Only two percent of teens read papers, and one-third have not read a book for pleasure in the last year.
Dr. Jean Twenge, psychology professor at San Diego State University, and author of more than 130 scientific publications and 6 books has this to say. “Think about how difficult it must be to read even five pages of…a college textbook when you’ve been used to spending most of your time switching between one digital activity and another in a matter of seconds.”
However, one does not have to be a psychology professor to know by simple observation that entertainment and the distraction of social media, texting, gaming, and surfing the web have replaced having a focus. Many walk around holding a cell phone every single minute. I might add that texting has replaced having real conversations with real people. How is all this drawing a person one step closer to accomplishing goals, if they have any goals at all? How is it contributing to a person being where they want to be with their life in 5 or 10 years? As I said earlier, if you are not focused you are probably drifting through life.
Start dreaming. Where do you envision your life to be in another 10 years? You are here on this earth for a reason and purpose, not to spend hours a day in worthless pursuits and activities. I strongly encourage you to ask yourself some questions. What do you really, really want to do with your life, even if you didn’t get paid for it? What can you do to make a difference in the lives of others? Make a list of goals and dreams about which you are passionate, that you would like to see happen in the next ten years.
Replace distractions with activities and pursuits that will further you along your unique journey and help fulfill your purpose in life. Then you will be able to look back on the past decade and know that you made a difference.