She had gone out for a run, and it wasn’t until she was more than a half mile away before she realized that she had left her phone at home. The reason she became aware of the missing phone was because she felt just a little bit lighter. The average cell phone weighs under 0.5 pounds and as she returned from her run, she thought about why she could feel such a slight difference as she ran.
As she shared her story with me, we began creating a list of possibilities for how such an insignificant amount of weight could have had such a noticeable impact. We tossed around ideas that had more to do with the size of the device and not the weight and how that may have prompted her to notice that her phone was missing. And then we kicked around a few silly ideas before settling on what was probably the real reason.
She started to talk about all the things she has on her phone, everything from several screens loaded with dozens of apps, several games, tens of thousands of photos, work-related tools such as her email and calendar, and all the social media platforms. Among her apps were at least 10 news feeds which she checked regularly. We hypothesized that although none of these carry any physical weight, they certainly carry with them emotional and stressful weights that when we don’t have access to them for even the shortest amount of time, we can begin to feel a little lighter and the world seems a little brighter.
Maybe we can all relate to this a little bit when we think about all the weight that comes with our own cell phones that we carry. The need to be in the know at all times about what is happening with our family and friends. Feeling obligated to check every email or text and respond immediately. Experiencing withdrawals if we do not open our news feeds to make sure we know what is going on in our town, state, country, and around the world. And not only making sure we check the news, but we also must check multiple sites to try and find the truth as we never know who or what to believe.
As we continued our conversation, going into the details of what is contained on her phone, she realized just how heavy that phone really was. And to run for a few miles without it and feel just the slightest bit lighter now made all the sense in the world. She made the commitment to herself that she would start to eliminate the apps, games, and tools and minimize the amount of time she stayed glued to her phone. She also planned to leave her phone at home whenever she would go for another run. Her plan was to lighten the load to brighten the mood each day.
Acclaimed author and motivational speaker Krish Dhanam talks about how we can put a little more pep in each step and bounce in each ounce. And that is exactly what I recommend for all of us, to put a little more pep in each step and bounce in each ounce by determining what we allow into our lives, to become planted in our minds, and to penetrate our hearts, letting the good stuff in and keeping the bad stuff out. Identifying where all that weight that sits upon our shoulders is coming from and remove it not only from our phones but from anywhere else it has established a foothold in our life.
As we head into the holiday season, it is the perfect time of year to minimize our burdens, stressors, fears, worries and doubts, and focus on all the people and opportunities in our life that brings us peace, joy, hope, and love. I would love to hear your story at firstname.lastname@example.org, and when we can remember to lighten the load and brighten the mood, it really will be a better than good life.
Michael Norton is an author, a personal and professional coach, consultant, trainer, encourager, and motivator of individuals and businesses, working with organizations and associations across multiple industries.