Quantum Physics And Me Getting Some Sunshine…

You know Schrodinger’s cat?

That poor little feline died so many times… and did not die at the same time.

(Haha, too bad I don’t like cats)

If you don’t know what this is about, it is a thought experiment in quantum mechanics. You take a cat. You put it in a steel container where it has zero chance to interact with the triggers. You put a vial of poison that would instantly kill the cat.

The poison is triggered by a small amount of radioactive substance. If it decays, the poison is delivered. If it doesn’t decay, it is not.

So it is a throw of the coin right?

If A happens, then B, big deal, deterministic universe.

Except that radioactive material has quantum properties which means that there is an equal chance for it to decay and for it to not decay – and these are NOT exclusive of each other. Both can exist in the same space and time because quantum mechanics, that’s why.

So the cat is both dead and alive.

The vial of poison was both broken and kept intact. Both options are true because of the quantum nature of the material used.

You won’t know until you open the container, in which you trigger the observer paradox, how observing something changes its properties. And no, you won’t find a zombie cat, you’ll find one of those two states, but the important thing is that both states exists until one is directly observed.

This is the entire principle of quantum physics, the ability of something to have dual properties that are normally MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE, e.g. matter to be both a wave and a particle, which is technically impossible but yet, it has been proven true, under quantum physics.

SOOO…

Leaving aside the poor cat, I was sitting in bed and realised something.

The day that follows (which is now, today) can both be an amazing, fun, exciting, a-ha filled day… or it can be an exercise in frustrating momentum, where I feel the same and do the same, based on one choice.

Do I access technology or do I lock it away?

Because if I access technology I’ll end up doing the same things I’ve always done. But if I don’t, I create an entire new reality for myself, one in which I end up doing things that are different than using technology.

Both options are valid, both options exist, both options are open to me UNTIL I pick one or another by making this decision, do I use tech or I don’t today?

That cat can both live and die. My laptop doesn’t have quantum properties, I admit it, but by not using my laptop and phone, I can create an universe for myself in which I experience life from a different perspective. And since the universe is for better or worse (better), deterministic, picking a life without the distraction of technology today will automatically DESTROY the other potential universe in which I am still addicted to it.

You don’t get it… a simple choice like this has the power to create a whole new reality that never existed before. It is like the space-time continuum goes along as usual, minding its own business, admiring existence, whatever, and then, a simple decision splits it in two.

You now have two space-time continuums, one in which I kept using technology and one in which I didn’t. But these are parallel universes now, which made me be in awe of how a simple decision basically creates an entire new existence.

Of course, this is highly theoretical, just as the entire idea of a multi-verse is theoretical. And with all theoretical physics, good look proving it anytime soon.

But think about it…

Let’s say you are 14.

You see a girl you really like.

And you have two options.

The first one is to say hello. She goes on a date with you. Ten years later you marry her. You end up having a family with her. The other one is to not say hello. None of those things happen.

You basically create a split in the space-time continuum through a simple decision, assuming that the idea of a multi-verse exists. A multi-verse in which exists a version of the world for every possible atomic state, one in which my eyes are blue, one in which I was born in Kenya, one in which I’m 4.5 ft tall, one in which I may not even existed.

Assuming there is a universe, a version of our own reality right now, in which over 14 years ago, I didn’t come home, look for self-improvement advice, never got on this path. And I never got into marketing and business and so on.

It’s fascinating, the thought of how we basically split reality through our decisions and how there is a version (presuming) of the world in which I have done the other option and life moved on from there.

And what does this mean on a practical sense?

That seemingly small decisions can actually create huge forks in the road, and that whenever it makes sense, to take those decisions. And for me, it’s simply putting the damn tech aside and learn to enjoy life fully.

Razvan

My Love Letter To Goal Setting

Let’s get one thing clear…

Human beings are not designed to set goals and accomplish them. I swear it.

It’s not in our DNA to decide for something and then consistently work towards solving it. We have emotions. We have fears. We change our priorities.

One day or one week or one year passes and we’re nowhere closer to getting what we’ve decided for ourselves.

And to be honest… it’s our fault.

Because goal accomplishment requires discipline… and we lack that, a lot.

I’m talking from experience here. Too many times I’ve found myself in some kind of flow and three months later, I’ve spent a fortune, all my energy and time and accomplished almost nothing at all.

I’ve jumped from one thing to another, in search of excitement, in search of joy… and I’ve just moved in a circle.

And that’s when I’ve learned, the hard way, that if you don’t know exactly what you want and have some general idea at least what to do next, you’ll fail. 

So I believe you need goals.

You need monthly… and weekly… and daily goals.

Why not yearly?

Because at least in my case, I have no idea what I want to accomplish in a year. My life tends to be very agile and a lot of things change. 

But that’s not all… maybe I have a problem lacking a long term vision. It is that long term goals don’t inspire. Something you want to accomplish long term is too big. Where do you even start? How do you even conceive of something which will take 365 days of effort to accomplish?

So I don’t really set yearly goals anymore… because I know I don’t take them seriously.

But I can focus on something which is within my reach… this month, this week, this day.

And I set five goals each. 

And I change them a lot.

And here’s another thing nobody is talking about. You’re supposed to know what goals to set but truth be told, know how?

Like you have a little genie in a bottle telling you where you should focus?

Nope.

That’s why I change my goals from time to time because I realise that I need a different path and that what I’m doing is not really serving me that well. Or because circumstances changed.

Once you set a goal, this doesn’t mean that you need to stick with it until the end of the time. Many times I write goals out of a desire to fulfil my five goals… but then I realise they are just placeholders, that there is no rational reason to do that over something more important.

So I change them.

After years of setting goals – I know that good goals don’t come automatically and the question “what do you want from your day, week, month, year, life…” is very hard to answer.

So consider goal setting a process, a work in progress… and be ready to delete your goals and start anew if you’re feeling a bit smarter today than yesterday. 

Most of my long term goals that I set at the start of the year are obsolete now. Not all, but most. Why? Because I found a far better way to accomplish the same vision than to follow those goals.

I’ve realised that what I want can be done differently – and I should do it differently. For example, I had goals about running a certain number of sessions and following a certain number of sessions in the gym.

I’ve decided to just get a personal trainer. The vision stays the same – getting fit but the means are differently so the goals change.

But maybe the most important thing about goal setting I can tell you is that if you don’t set goals… you’ll drift through life. And maybe you’ll get something important done. Maybe done.

Luck becomes your strategy.

And I don’t believe in luck but it can work for some people. 

I believe that we create our own lives and the best way to do this, is to define what we want to create… and get to work. So I decide five things I want to accomplish this month. Then I decide on five things for this week, relevant to the monthly goals. Then I set five things I need to do today, both the needs of the moment and my longer term vision.

The basic truth is that unless you create your life intentionally… by deliberately putting your time, money, effort, energy into a few specific things, not just once a year but day by day… you’ll end up at the mercy of randomness and very few people ever get that lucky.

Razvan

Why My Motivation Is A Pretty Taiwanese / Chinese Girl…

I’m so sore.

It hurts. My body hurts.

But I gladly accept the pain. Why? Because I’d rather have this pain than the pain of disappointment and failing in some areas of my life.

Let me explain.

FIRTS – It hurts because I’ve just returned to the gym. And it seems that when you have a personal trainer, you end up doing proper workouts.

And proper workouts hurt, at least when in recovery mode.

SECOND – I’m doing this for a big reason.

It’s not to live to 100. It’s not to build discipline. Sure, these matters.

But you know what’s my real motivation?

To meet pretty girls and to date them. That’s all. I could say to fuck them but at this moment, I feel I need the company of a beautiful girl in my life a lot more than the physical aspect alone. For that, I can just pay $100 and be done with it.

(C’mon, we’re all thinking it)

And lately, I’ve kind of failed in this endeavour. 

I mean, just like I like a girl that is tall and fit and pretty, it’s only normal that she wants something similar. And I’m not feeling either very fit or very handsome. I actually have a body fat percentage of 22.4% or something.

Look… 

I’m a pragmatist. I’m extremely realist. I don’t like to tell myself stories. And the truth is that excepting special circumstances, I’ll not get a girl with 16% BFI if mine is 22.4%. Sure, there are unfit guys with fit girls but statistically, the odds are against me.

And while every girl has an appeal of her own, I actually have a clear idea of what’s the ideal type for me – fit, athletic, the Taiwanese / Chinese type. For me, that’s the prize. I’ve been two years in Taiwan, it’s what I like, it’s what I’ll find.

But to get my prize, I also need to be a prize for her, ergo, going to the gym and paying the equivalent of a medium salary in Malaysia (I’m in Malaysia atm) on a personal trainer to help me achieve my fitness goals.

Why am I so honest here?

Because we need to cut the bullshit.

You want something in your life. And the only way to get that is to become the person that naturally gets those kind of outcomes. I don’t know if it’s money or respect or love or freedom but you can’t get something unless you’re the kind of person that gets it – if that makes sense.

Someone out of shape and with 22% BFI is not the natural candidate for a good looking, tall, fit Asian girl. And that being said, I have a few options.

FIRST – I can blame the world.

Doesn’t it suck that girls have high standards and they should love me just as I am? Didn’t my mommy said I’m special?

It’s their fault, not mine, while I’m putting another handful of chips in my mouth.

(Hint: Doesn’t work)

SECOND – I can hope to get lucky.

And this happens sometimes. Sometimes you get what you naturally aren’t suited for.

And given enough trials and time, I can get that kind of girl with or without my improved body. However, I don’t believe in luck as a strategy. I don’t gamble in life. 

There is no certainty that what I want will happen… nor is there any strategy that I can maintain it. I prefer to be ready, not lucky.

THIRD – I can give up.

This is what most people do.

Seeing they can’t get naturally what they want, most people simply lower their standards and accept something more suited to where they are now.

It’s far easier to build a narrative justifying your current situation than it is to actually change them. And who needs a pretty Taiwanese girl when there’s porn available?

Doh.

For better or for worse, I’d rather slap myself fifty times a day than justify my story. It’s not a game I’m willing to play.

And FOURTH – I can simply adapt and become better.

I can accept a basic truth.

There are some standards required in order to achieve said goal. I’m sure the standards extend past the physical but I guess I’m above average in the other areas. Instead of justifying or blaming others or lowering my standards, I’d rather just raise myself to said higher standards.

Look… I believe in radical honesty. This is saying things as they are.

I’m willing to go through a lot of physical pain, sore muscles and “fuck, I’ll die” moments in order to have a very pretty girl next to me. That’s my why. It doesn’t have to be noble. It has to be mine. 

So it is with your goal.

Maybe you want a Porsche 911 to show your high-school classmates from ten years ago that you’ve made it and you’re a baller. Whatever. It’s fine. Your reason doesn’t to be noble. You’re not on national television. Do what works for you.

There are only a few things that really bring me joy – freedom, knowledge (especially deep conversations) and very pretty girls that are actually into me (the actually part matters a lot to me, I find it hard to sell myself lies). I’m not motivated by changing the world or ending world hunger or creating a revolution.

My “minding my own business” level is so high that almost nothing moves me from my path anymore. Know thyself matters a lot.

Because everyone in this world will tell you how to think and what to think and what’s right and wrong. And everyone should mind their own fucking business and be an expert in how to live their lives, not yours. You decide what you want and you pay the price for it.

Razvan

Loving yourself starts with the “do not disturb” mode.

Hi.

When you say “self love”, there are many things that come to your mind.

What I’ll tell you is not one of them.

So here it goes…

STOP being tied to your communication apps because you love yourself.

Think about it. If you reply each time someone contacts you, if a ding from your phone is enough to take you out of whatever you were doing and put you into reactive mode… you’re basically ignoring your own needs.

You’re saying “what you want from me is more important than what I want from myself so I’ll stop doing it”. For God’s sake, I know girls who stopped from having sex just to answer a phone call.

And in a way, I can empathise (not at that level but in general).

We’ve trained ourselves to respond. If the phone rings and we don’t answer, we feel damn uncomfortable. What if it is urgent? What if someone needs me? We’ve learned to equate other needs to contact us with something that must be solved now.

Except… it isn’t.

Most request, all requests on social media and phone hardly matter. Sure, sometimes you get a call and it is the delivery guy you’ve been expecting you or your house is on fire but I can guarantee you, 95% of everything you receive in your inbox, can be safely ignored for one hour… or twelve hours… or a day… or even a week. 

Now, I’m not saying to become a hermit.

I’m not saying to ignore and say fuck to everyone. I’m simply saying that what you are doing in the moment is important and you deserve to fully enjoy that given experience. This also means that if you love yourself, you’ll not drop it, no matter if you’re in the shower or eating or sleeping or whatever, in order to respond to someone’s else need for you.

I just connected the dots on this but someone taught me this a long time ago. I’m just hard to understand.

Her name is Joy and she is a wonderful girl for which I was way too unprepared at that point in time. And Joy would reply on her own timeframe. If she wanted to reply, she’d reply. If not, she’d not.

She was never rude about it. She never made a point. She wasn’t even strategic I guess. It was simply that Joy was living a fun life and she was too busy doing good stuff for her to answer Messenger messages.

She’s also the first person that while with me, never ever even looked at her phone, and I assume, this was true with everyone else. And I perceive this two fold – first, respect for the person in front of her and appreciation… and second, respect for herself, because if she was there, she wanted to be there, she wanted to enjoy the experience, she didn’t want to pull herself out of it.

I don’t know if you remember but about 5 – 8 years ago, answering your phone or using your phone when with someone it was a big insult. It was something to get upset. Now it is universally accepted. Now I can be with someone and she can pull her phone and answer WhatsApp messages while with me.

It’s stupid.

It’s moronic.

It is fucked up. 

And I believe that we deserve better. We all do.

So maybe the first step is to stop being reactive to your phone. If someone messages you, that person will get an answer, but not now.

Now, enjoy that food. Enjoy every bite. Or take a deep breath and enjoy your environment. Or enjoy your morning coffee, the book you’re reading, the song you’re listening.

You are gifting yourself this moment.

You are intentionally making yourself happy.

Don’t ruin this for something that’s not important. You, making yourself happy matters. You know, I know people who would stop a run on a treadmill to answer a WhatsApp message.

A fucking run…

I mean, c’mon, unless the message is “fucking alert, I need you now”, nothing is that important. Nothing is that important to fracture the moments you spend with your loved ones by looking at your phone.

And while in the above case I use your “loved ones” as your significant other, you know who is the MOST LOVED ONE?

I’ll give you one guess…

Yes, YOURSELF.

Nothing is that important to ruin the relationship you have with yourself. A part of you wanted you to enjoy whatever the hell you’re doing now. And you should embrace that part and disable those damn notifications and deal with everything later.

Don’t worry.

The world won’t end.

The deal won’t fall.

The house won’t burn.

If someone really really needs to get to you, they’ll call several times in a row. You can safely ignore most attempts, like really.

Plus, if you train people that it takes time to get an answer from you, they’ll appreciate you more. So unless it’s a sales conversation and you need to answer to close the sale (being fast there matters, and the rules above don’t apply), just let it be.

So tomorrow…

When your phone vibrates…

Put it in the drawer. Disable notifications. Close the drawer. Put a smile on your face. Get back to whatever you were doing before. Because you deserve to love yourself. And the best gift of love you can make to yourself, the best gesture is that you MATTER.

Is that your needs are important and relevant and should not be subordinated to the needs of others, especially a vast mob that has almost zero relevancy to what’s important to you.

You matter.

Gift yourself the gift of being in the moment… and doing what’s important to you, instead of reacting from your phone or email or whatever device you’re using.

Razvan

Sorry… FitBit won’t make you fit and slim.

I joined a gym.

I got a personal trainer too.

And why is that?

Because I’ve realised that Apple Watch or FitBit or Garmin will not make me fit. I can go right now and spend $700 on the latest Fenix 5 and get perfect metrics for how I run or what my O2 consumption is (or whatever it is measuring) but I’d still be out of shape.

The truth is that fitness trackers don’t make you fit just like owning a computer doesn’t make you a programmer. Sure, a fitness tracker is a great device to improve your life, if you are INCLINED towards improving it to begin with… but having FitBit tell me how many steps I’ve taken is not really making that much of a difference.

I’ve realised that if I really want to make a big difference in my life, then I must take this seriously. And taking it seriously means…

ONE – It will be painful and time consuming.

TWO – It will cost a lot.

THREE – It will require sacrifices.

And it’s true. For how much I’m paying for 3 – 4 weeks of personal training, I can get the most advanced fitness watch, one that would last me for years. I already have an Apple Watch but just saying. But the truth is that I will never do what I need to do by myself. It’s the past of most resistance and it is painful and my natural instincts tell me to fuck off.

It’s easy to walk 10.000 steps. It’s a bit less easier to go for another session when your arms hurt so much (better said, ache) that you can’t even put a shirt on (and no, that’s not a figure of speech).

So it is with most other things.

I can play Eben Pagan or Frank Kern or Tony Robbins or whoever in my headsets and say to myself “wow, Razvan, great job, you’ve finished another program, way to go boy” but… what have I actually accomplished?

If I want real behavioural change, I need to sit down with pen in hand, take notes, really comprehend the information, not just superficially go through it.

And I guess this is a larger trend of life, of modern life you know? Technology gave us targets to hit and it made us believe that if we just hit those targets, we’re successful. It made us believe that if we work for so many hours and walk so many steps and read so many books per year, that we’re fucking awesome.

The focus was always on quantification, like how many minutes you’ve meditated or how many kilometres you’ve ran? And all things being equal, five is better than zero. However, while technology is amazing at measuring how much of something is there, because almost everything can be reduced to a numeric value, it is kind of awful of measuring effectiveness and interconnected systems, how something interacts with everything else.

So I can go to the gym and my Apple Watch will inform me that I’ve lost 340 calories. But my Apple Watch won’t inform me if I’ve actually done any progress in improving my musculature or if I’ve improved my health. A piece of tech measures everything the same and as my trainer proves to me many times, it is not the same.

Doing 12 bar raises with 30 kilograms is not the same as doing 12 with 10 kilograms. The muscle won’t measure a point system, it will activate its restoration process only in the moment you’ve damaged it. So doing things right is just as important, even more important than how many things you do – and if you just measure how much you do, you’ll find the fastest and easiest way to getting there.

Of course this goes way beyond fitness. Let me give you productive effort. The trend is to measure how much you work in some unit of time, like a Pomodoro, and the more you do, the better you are. But what if I told you that meeting someone for 30 minutes can be worth 100 hours of otherwise effort? That all tasks are not made equal and that some are earth-shaking important… while others don’t matter at all?

What if I tell you that 20% of what you do generates 80% of your results? Or maybe it is 30 – 70 or 10 – 90 but there is a ratio there… and that quantification based systems don’t take this into account, and treat investing one hour into the 10% that generates the 90% just as the one hour into the 90% that generates 10% of the results?

Life is not very intuitive… and looking at others for answers usually doesn’t tell you where doing the least gives you the most. If common sense was common wisdom…

Nobody would use Netflix.
Everyone would buy 3 – 4 books a month on Kindle.
Gyms would be filled and personal trainers would be more in demand than MTV singers.
All work that would be done would be relevant and important.
Everyone would be extremely strategic in resource allocation like time and money.
Nobody would give a fuck about most email and let it pile up.
Facebook would be bankrupt.

But it’s not the world in which we’re living in.

In this world… everyone is obsessed with media consumption and gyms are empty… personal trainers struggle from month to month because paying $30 – $40 per session is way too damn much (but paying $300 – $400 for a night out is not)… most work done doesn’t help anyone and it’s for the sake of feeling and looking productive… people would waste five hours to save $10… inbox zero is a religious thing and the average person spends about 10 hours on Facebook per week, and that’s FB, not messenger.

You know…

We like to bitch and blame others. We like to blame Trump or society or our wife or the jews or some ancient Italian family or the universe because our lives are not working properly.

But when faced with a proper decision… one that will maximise value… and an improper one that will satisfy only the vanity of saying that you’re doing something, believe me, in 9 out of 10 cases, you’d take the second.

So the next time you get an audiobook, don’t listen to it in the shower. Sit down with a pen and paper and write down careful notes. And forget your FitBit. Sure, 10.000 steps a day are a decent number of calories burn but I’ve consumed more calories in the last 30 minutes by eating one ice-cream and one Kinder Bueno. If you really want to improve your fitness, it will be painful, uncomfortable, hurt your body for a while, make you sacrifice things.

FitBit is bullshit. It’s like the lowest thing you can do for your body. It’s better than not doing anything for your body but you know what?

You look at the commercials and see beautiful women and men being happy, wearing their FitBit and living the life. Or you see the Apple Watch for the same thing.

Well, guess fucking what?

They’re not like that because they wear a FitBit. They’re like that because they’ve made exercising a constant part of their life, go to the gym and eat properly. Believe me, they weren’t overweight, tired with life, barely moving, bought a FitBit Charge 2 and in a few months, transformed into models.

The same can be said with stuff like FitBit Coach (ex FitStar). At best those things count as warmups but even if they weren’t, believe me, the trainers don’t look that way because they got fit with FitBit. They looked that way because they went to the gym and gave it their all.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that technology can make your life better and that if you buy the latest Garmin Fenix, you will be a tough person that goes hiking and such. Sure, if you are a hiker and you life being outdoors, that device helps you and it’s amazing but the average person buys it more because they want to be associated with looking the part than being the part.

It’s like this MacBook Pro I’m writing this on right now. I can use this computer to write an app and sell it to the App Store… or to watch porn. It’s a tool. It helps me do more of who I am. It doesn’t change who I am to begin with.

The real path to change and accomplishing goals… sorry to say, but it is (1) more expensive (2) takes more time (3) requires more sacrifice than you believe right now. And while something is better than anything and 10% is better than 0%, don’t confuse doing the bare minimum (as doing your five minutes of exercise a day and walking 5000 steps) as doing what’s required to achieve the body of your dreams (dieting, working out both enough in quantity and quality, sleep, etc).

Razvan

Your Smartphone Is Making You A Digital Zombie (And Yes, You’re Living In Denial)

Hi.

I’ve left home without my mobile phone. 

I’ve left just with my Apple Watch and Airpods, to a nearby Chinese dinner. While I was there, a huge storm came and they’ve had to lock in the place. 

I couldn’t call a Grab. I couldn’t visit YouTube. I couldn’t check the weather to see how long the storm would take. 

And I was happy about it.

This is because lately, I’ve seen the enemy and the enemy is called digital distraction. And while I have very expensive tech, including an iPhone XS Max, I keep my laptop and my phone locked in a backpack. And the backpack has a real lock, with a key. And I put the backpack in my closet while the key somewhere else. This is how I remind myself to stay the fuck away from technology.

I don’t have a phobia for technology but it is no surprise that product designers are nowadays also very good behavioural psychologists. And in designing their apps and products, they create incentives and feedback loops that makes us use them more and more.

In other words – they engineer addiction.

And while you think Facebook is there to make your life a better place, brilliant people with diplomas in social economics and psychology and behavioural analysis spend their days and nights thinking of how to get you to spend more time in the app.

YouTube is the same. LinkedIn is the same. Everyone is the same. Everyone wants you to spend more time glued to your device, consuming their content, because most apps nowadays are free. But free is just another name for advertising and when you have a free app, your income is directly tied to how much time your user base spends on the platform.

And guess what?

We’ve became digital zombies.

And we live in denial. We say it isn’t so.

You could give up your phone anytime right? Also, what does spending a few minutes on Facebook hurt you? You keep touch with friends and family. So is Instagram.

But statistics say otherwise. 

We check our phone in average about 150 times a day. The average time spent on a mobile phone is close to five hours, per day. And in my own case, if I am to look at Screen Time which Apple so graciously provided, my time spent was an average of seven hours a day and I actually know people who do a lot more.

I know people who can’t spend ten minutes without checking their phone and who live in a constant state of anxiety and worry – what if someone calls them? What if they get an important notification? What if they miss something?

We’re zombies and we’re too in love with our addictive behaviour to even admit it. Actually, we blame everyone else for being digital zombies while not taking a look at our own behaviour. 

So a few days ago, I’ve tried an experiment.

A complete day without technology. 

No Netflix, no phone, no laptop, no smartwatch. Nothing.

And it was hard because I had to confront the harsh truth. I am addicted. And I have fears. I have anxieties. I am in pain. I have existential dread. And I need YouTube and Facebook and Netflix to escape all those negative emotions and to feel good about myself.

I need to keep my mind busy because fighting my demons is way too hard.

But in that time, I’ve had so many a-ha moments and after I’ve got past the hardest part, it actually felt easy. I started to appreciate the silence.

Now, most fuckers in this world think – big deal, I can do that anytime. Actually, no. They’re just in denial. We’re so hooked to technology. We’re like people who smoke two packs a day and they’re not willing to admit to others they have a problems. 

Very few people I know have a healthy relationship with technology. Most pull their phone out each time they have a few free minutes. Most girls I know would feel more naked without their iPhone than without their underwear.

Phones and apps, for worse, not better, have become an integral part of our lives. We’ve become addicted to the stream of information and being addicted.

And yes… there is the other rationale that we can use our phones for good, to earn money and educate ourselves and so on.

I agree! Fully! And how many minutes you’ve spent this week on TED? How many minutes you’ve spent this week on Coursera or on the Kindle app of your phone?

Sure phones can be used for good… but they aren’t. 

They’re used for porn and games and social media and news. I’ve used my smartphone a lot more on porn sites lately than I’ve used it to learn anything useful and I’m fine admitting it. At least I’m not a hypocrite. I admit I have a problem and I work towards solving it. This is more than I can say about most people.

Technology addiction is a real thing and some technology is a lot more dangerous to us than others. Because all those hours on Netflix and Facebook and YouTube actually hurt you. They hurt you in an direct way (messing with your emotions and creating an unhealthy inner world) and from an opportunity cost perspective (what are all the wonderful things you could do without tech?)

So slowly… I’ve started to take a no or low tech perspective.

I use a Kindle to read. I could use an iPad but on the iPad I end up playing video games and watching YouTube. Good luck doing that on a Kindle.

I leave my phone at home most of the time. I admit it, it is damn unpractical because we live in such a connected world. Transportation sucks without having a phone. But those few hours in which I’m out of reach and disconnected are heaven, heaven I tell you.

I’m done with fitness apps and measuring steps and so on. All of those things make you feel like you accomplish something but the truth is if you want to actually improve your fitness, it takes a bit more than walking an extra 3000 steps a day. So I got myself a personal trainer at the gym, who costs a lot more than a FitBit but who actually gets me in shape.

Now I’ve ordered one of those old school text processors, keyboards with screens that are not computers. I can write on them and that’s all. And since I am a direct response copywriter, this is what I’m supposed to do, write. Write and not check the Facebook marketplace or YouTube as I’m doing now.

I do carry my Apple Watch and I’ve loaded it with music and audiobooks. It can’t do much else without being tethered to a phone and I’m fine with it. If I am to entertain myself, listening to audiobooks is amazing (now I’m listening to Aftershocks by Marko Kloos, one of my favourite military sci-fi writers, and on my Kindle I’m reading Gerald’s Game by Stephen King. I’m at 70% and I’m afraid to keep reading. Literally). 

And yes, living disconnected is damn hard and it makes you feel all kind of bad emotional stuff like anxiety and even dread. BUT you create a lot of space for good things to happen, adventure, connection, big realisations, SLEEP, fitness, reading, deep work and so on. Once you free all those hours from purely mindless entertainment, you end up having time and energy to invest in what matters a lot more.

Look, my end goal is to use a laptop and phone when I absolutely need it. I honestly believe that starring at the wall is an infinitely better use of my time and energy than it is to constantly bombard my mind with information input. My mind needs space to grow and evolve and make connections and I can’t do that if I’m inputting the equivalent of one book every day of random stuff in it through social media and consumption websites.

Your freedom will come from separating yourself from technology so you can live a life worth living. A life in which emotions come from actual events, from something that is happening, not from something that you’re observing.

I have a long way to go there… but at least, I’m struggling to break free of these chains that captured our psyches.

Razvan