The Like Distractions

A month is a really long time. I’ve been trying to work on an experiment to quiet social media.

It’s been hard. And yesterday I slipped up. I went into Instagram and tried to post something to my story. I had this picture and I wanted to post it. Thought, oh this is creative. I’m allowed to do creative things.

While I was there I checked to see if anyone had wished me a happy birthday. They had not.

Then I started to check to see if anyone liked any posts. Any new followers? Any hearts? Comments? See, that’s the problem. I checked again later.

There were too many feelings for me, pulling me to the app. It was sad really. Like a druggie relapse. I feel ashamed. A failure. But, I’m not giving up.

I will continue my experiment. Now I know I can’t post and not look. I have to cut it all out. It’s sad. Sad how I’m drawn to it. Sad how I see others addicted to the phone. I have this urge, this desire, to force myself to get rid of all my apps and start from scratch. Only have phone and messages.

Can I do that? I also find value in being able to edit video. To create. I don’t want to stop creating. I like creating and I believe it’s valuable to who I am.

But checking on likes is detrimental. Makes me anxious.

Oh and listen to this. Late last night I sat in bed and was looking at my phone like what can I search for. I can’t watch a youtube video. I can’t scroll social media. What can i distract myself with?

That’s really disappointing. I know I have a lot to learn, but I don’t have to seek it out all the time. Then my daughter asked if I would like for her to read to me. Of course I said yes, absolutely.

That gave me an excuse to put the phone away and be present. Present. That is the key to this whole thing. To be present.

In the story she read there was a woman with a notebook of beautiful things. She would write in her notebook all the beautiful things she experienced in her day. The birds singing. The sun rising. The clouds moving in the wind. All of the things of life and this world that we seem to overlook these days. Things I need to bring back into my life.

Removing the attraction to the cellphone has started to increase my level of observation of the world and of those other people around me. It has made me more aware. And I believe that is a good, no great, thing.

Wish me luck on the continued journey. How is your journey going?


I’ve run into a bit of a snag. I have this feeling that selling things on eBay is not going to be worth the effort. It’s the small stuff.

Nobody wants them. And to think I thought they had value. Even offered at a couple of dollars no one wants them. That shows you how little they are actually worth. Worth nothing.

Do I need to hold on to something literally worth nothing? Probably not.

Why would I take up space in my home? Why would I take the time to keep it all clean? All for something literally worth nothing. It’s sad.

Why have I been keeping these things? They don’t bring me joy. I rarely use them, if ever, yet I hold onto them.

They were gifts. I can’t get rid of a gift.

They are things I’m expected to have. I have to have the things that I’m supposed to have.

So silly.

I need to rid myself of these things and move forward. It’s too much for me to try and manage all the things. To try and keep everything that’s eating away at who I want to be. I have to clear it.

I will start to clear the clutter away from my life. There were some things I sold on ebay that were quick. Fast sellers and couple of things that took several tries. I get discouraged sometimes. I have this feeling that I’ll never get rid of the excess.

I will never be able to free myself from the clutter and live a more simple life. I should know it’s not true. It’s me trying to sabotage the plans I’m making. It’s me trying to get in the way of something greater. It’s the universe making it hard to complete something of value.

It takes time. It takes sacrifice. And it takes patience. I have to remember I didn’t collect all these things overnight. Years of bringing things into my home. Years. And I can’t expect to rid myself of them overnight.

It would be that kind of thinking that got me in trouble to begin with. Impulse. You have to curb the impulse. Be deliberate, not impulsive.

I Wish I Knew

It’s going to take a long time.

I’m having a hard time. I can’t see myself being a minimalist overnight. I can’t bring myself to tossing all my things into a dumpster.

There are still lots of things I can’t think about getting rid of. Things I find interesting. Things I find useful, but don’t use all the time. I don’t know. Am I just hanging on to things that are part of a past season.

I will eventually use these things again, right?

It’s like my interests have shifted. I spend more time on other things, but what if I want to get back into that thing.

It’s tough.

This is why it’s so important the new things I bring into my life are things I need. Things I will use for a long time. Or are they only things for a season of life.

I  have to consider whether the season is over or if it’s going to come back around. This makes me angry for putting my future self into this position. If only I would have known years ago. In my teens or even my twenties. Things could be so different.

I can’t look back and beat myself up for the past. I have to move forward. Be the person I want to become now.

9 Days Off Social Media

Video Above

Things are getting much easier. Less reaching for my phone. Less thinking about likes. Less, less, less.
This has given me more freedom. More creativity. More connection with people in my life.

Everything is for sale

Everything I have is for sale. All of it.

I will get rid of everything in my life that is no longer of value to me. And by value, I mean something I use often. It must perform a particular task for me often and add value to my life.

There are very few things that do this. All the other things must go.
It’s what I’ve determined. I will let it all go. It’s going to take time, but I’ve decided. This is the way to go. The direction is clear.

There are too many distractions around me. Too many things calling for my attention. Fix me. Put me away. Charge me.

All the things are pulling me apart and I would rather have the finances available. It all became clear when we thought about moving.

What would it take to move? How would we move all these things?

It’s too much and difficult to store all this stuff. Especially since we are in the mindset of downsizing. Going smaller.

All the things around me make me anxious. Nervous. I want it to just go away, but I don’t want to throw money away.

I will sell everything. I’ve started. I have a feeling it might take a while. It’s my mission now.

The greater the stress

Yesterday was the first day to cut out a lot of the distraction caused by my phone. No video. No podcasts and no Instagram. Those, I would say, are my three most used platforms and something I go to most for distraction. I’ve had this weird feeling though. Yesterday I noticed it a lot.

I would feel for my phone in my pocket or I would feel my brain trigger my hand to grab my phone. I was able to resist it, but it was there. I could feel it.

Strange and unexpected. I expected I would feel something but not as strong as it was. It’s like reaching for a pack of cigarettes after smoking for ten years. The addiction might be equally as strong, but little less physical. I’ve gone through it before. The withdrawal so far is easier with a cell phone than the other. But we’ll see how it is over time.

The difference is smoking can be cut out entirely, but the cell phone hangs around you. You have to have it for communication. At least that’s how I feel at this point.

The cell phone is necessary.

I might look back on this and say. Wow. You’re so silly. You don’t need a cell phone. But I do. In this moment right now, I do.

One strange thing I noticed. When I was working I was focused and it was fairly easy to not use the phone or search for some distraction. But something strange happened at the end of the day. I started to get rushed. I needed to get drawings out before leaving on vacation. I started to run over in time. I was behind schedule and started to get stressed.

I reached for my phone several times. Instantly. The search for a distraction from the stress was super real. And strong. It was strong.

I kept going for it even though it was a time when I needed even deeper focus. More laser attention to getting things done.

Instead I searched for distraction. Something to take me away from the pain of working hard. Gosh the pull to that phone is strong.

Deeper Relationships

Timestamp – 1:37:46

Just allowing others to help you more will make them like you more. Sean McCabe and Ben Toalson touch on this in this episode. Take a listen to the audio link above.
Think about those life long friendships. The ones where you would do almost anything for that person and not expect anything in return.

Those friendships are out there but as we get older they are harder to form. We start to get busy we have more obligations more constraints on our time. This leads us to having to say no to things to expect things in return.

What if you took a step back and offered to help someone with no expectations. No hidden agenda. Would that not make you feel good. Would that not make you closer to that person.

Simply giving without expectation will allow you to form deeper connections with people.

A month off all phone consumption

What to do, what to do? I have so many questions running through my head.

I have this fear. It eats me up. Fear of not being able to provide for my family. Fear of failure. Fear I can’t live up to what it is I want to be. Who I want to be. I have lots of fear.

Scared. So scared.

I hide behind my job. Waiting to leave. Working hard but waiting. It makes me sad. Is this what I’m doing with my life?

It feels like I’m working for the wrong reasons. Do I work for my family? Is that what they need from me?

Do they need me to be at the office making money or do they need me. I’m torn. I want to save money for the future. I don’t want to risk it all. I want to be happy and content but is that possible.

Is it possible to be happy? I’m not sure. Have I ever been happy for a long period of time?

It’s a trap. I feel very trapped. And not sure what to do. Usually I can write and the words will find me the answer I need. But not sure there’s an answer inside me. It might be something beyond my person.

What makes me come alive?

When I record video, when I draw, when I write. When I work on my own projects. Is that the difference? Working for someone else or working for myself. Is it that large of a difference?

There is the uncertainty. I get worried. I get nervous. Things are not settled. Things are unsure. Things are not quite right. This makes me feel uneasy.

I don’t know.

I am certain of one thing.

I have proved my theory that things will only bring temporary happiness. They will never bring lasting happiness. I need to be careful with what I allow into my life. What I allow to be something to bring joy. It’s only temporary. Temporary joy.

It’s real but it does not last. The thing wears off. It starts to fade. Faster than you would think. It fades. And what are you left with? Nothing. Nothing but the desire for the next thing. It’s a sad a state of affairs and I have found myself in it more times than I can remember.

All my life I’ve strived to attain something. Some object. The next thing. Each time, I find value in that thing for a short time then boredom.

I can’t believe I fall for it each time.

I put the things in front of me. I search them out. I allow people to advertise to me. I welcome it. No more.

I’m cutting it all out for April. All distractions. All advertisements I can help. Youtube, Instagram all those things are gone from my phone.

For the entire month. Starting yesterday.

What a relief. What a nice feeling know it’s all gone. But kind of scary. What will I fill my time with? Podcasts?

No, Podcast too. Nothing. It’s going to be a strange month. What will I do. Will I long for material things. Will I search for likes. Will I cheet and sneek social media, a Youtube video?

These are questions I can’t answer yet, but I will keep tabs. I will keep watch.

For one month, no social media and limited screen. If I’m producing or creating it’s allowed. If I’m consuming it’s not.

Pretty simple.

And it has already started. This morning I almost went to instagram app to check my posts. But I didn’t. It wasn’t even there. I have a feeling there will be a lot of that.

Don’t clutter your mind with useless knowledge

Timestamp link – 13:47

We often think that it’s good to have vast amounts of knowledge on various subjects. What in reality we should be focused on is vast amounts of knowledge on one particular subject.

In the book think and grow rich Napoleon Hill talks about general knowledge verse specialized knowledge. It’s similar to what Pat Flynn says, “the riches are in the niches”

Focus on what matters and clear your mind of the rest. This focused attention will pay off.