By Leslie Grossman
Maybe you are looking down at your phone more than you are looking up at the world.
Too many of us are looking down while walking down the street, stopping in a traffic jam, waiting at the red light, and even while dangerously walking across the street. Are your eyes focused downward when you are on the subway or the train, in elevators, on the beach, at the restaurant or by the pool? Are you like so many of us, who are looking down at our phones as if nothing else is as important as the text, email, news or social media displayed on the screen?
What happened to looking up…at the sky, at people walking by or at the colorful street scene? What about giving our full attention to our colleagues, our family or friends across the table? How often have you unconsciously put your life, or your child’s life, at risk while crossing the street or driving to check a text or answer a call that could most certainly wait. Not to mention what you communicate to your children that your electronic device is more important than what they have to say, something that will surely impact their self-esteem.
What is the mysterious hold our phones have on us, which keeps us looking downward, distracted, preoccupied and disengaged?
While we are busy looking down at our phones, we miss the beauty, the kindness, the humanity, the joy and the opportunities that surround us. This obsession with our phones robs us of focus, drive, joy, connection and fulfillment. I was driving down West 22nd Street in New York City on a Saturday afternoon with my husband at the wheel. He pointed out the beautiful architecture, the blooming trees adorning the street, the gorgeous blue sky. I looked up from my phone for a moment and was struck by all the inspiring beauty surrounding me. I was missing so much because I was reading emails and news on my phone – all stuff that could wait.
When I looked up, a huge smile came over me. We had driven down this street at least 50 times and I never noticed its beauty before. It occurred to me at that very moment that I was missing so much by the addictive pull my phone had on me. I now see that I too often rob myself of precious minutes, even hours, when I can be focused on beauty, joy, inspiration, personal connection and creative thoughts.
What are you missing by looking down?
Make this the week you start looking up more….and looking down less.
Leslie Grossman, an executive leadership coach, is the co-founder of the Women’s Leadership Exchange; author of Link Out: How to Turn Your Network into a Chain of Lasting Connections; and Senior Fellow and Faculty Director, Women’s Leadership, at the Center for Excellence in Public Leadership at the George Washington University.
One-day workshop with Leslie Grossman
Women’s Leadership: Propel Your Career or Business Forward with New Habits and Behaviors
Friday, May 10, 2019, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
To learn more and register, click here.