This holiday season I turned off everything digital for ten days. I didn’t check my emails or messages. I didn’t touch social media. I didn’t post anything. I didn’t go into my office. I devoted my time to be with family, rest, meditate, practice yoga, spend time in nature, read, and take care of myself.
And the experience hasn’t yet left me.
Not only was it a much needed rest, it was also a reminder of what matters. It is so easy to spread myself too thin, habitually spending time with things that don’t actually make a lot of difference. Deep satisfaction, meaning, and impact in life doesn’t come from our achievements or external validation. Our worth – to be sustainable – doesn’t come from the number of follows we have or the amount of money we make, or all the stuff that we have. While our work is a tool to create what matters, what truly matters is the difference we make, the quality of our relationships, the ability to experience beauty and love, our inner well-being. Even when it comes to leadership, abilities matter, but inner qualities matter more.
When I experience such renewal, I wonder if the age of technology is waning. I question what will sustain us as a species on this planet. Increasingly we are starting to see resistance to technological progress, and the rise of the importance of the human spirit, of human contact and human touch.