It is common in life to think that in order to be productive one has to be manic; think deadlines, piles of papers on a desk, phones constantly ringing; a buzz of activity that proves to your managers or employers that you are busy busy busy earning and earning etc…
But are you learning?
Is there an argument leaning towards taking time to contemplate? A moment of reflection in life gives you time to properly take a look at what lies ahead of you, and also to sift back through previous experiences and knowledge gained giving you the right tools to take you forward in a situation. While the busy mentality may work for an industrial revolution style factory production line, like in Chaplin’s Modern Times for instance, that does not make it the right way of working for all walks of life.
By taking time away both mentally and physically, you are re-energising, seeking new ways of thinking, opening the doors to a wider train of thought.
Perhaps the reason that this is not a favoured pastime in the workplace is because THEY do not want you to think too much.
Thought is the one true thing that stands us out from other life on this planet; the ability to look at a situation, to wonder why or to gaze at the beauty which surrounds us. In life we ask ourselves about the sun, the moon, the stars, the point of life, the reason why things are the way they are.
Mmmm, perhaps employers don’t want you to even think about asking questions like that as it would begin a chain of thought leading to the removal of their power over the individual. All the more reason to do it in my book!
But if you take time to think about things, then you would quickly realise how busy and fast life can be, and that we could all benefit from just taking it easy during the day. One of the ways to slow your life down is by breathing in and absorbing the arts.
Take this into account: you are standing amidst the hustle and bustle of a gallery in London, surrounding you are school trips, foreign students, casual tourists, all jostling for a good position to take a photo on their phone; you however do not see them, you are engrossed in the life that has been painted out before you, a brief moment in time captured in oil and layered onto canvas. The noise that emanates from all of the mouths in the room mean nothing to you; your mind has gone back and you have immersed yourself into the image hanging on the wall.
No phone or camera can ever capture that emotion, it is yours, and is a feeling that could stay with you long after the memory is stored away in your brains back catalogue.
Statistics and data don’t give you that same emotional depth, although some bosses would argue that they should.
Reading is also something that I feel has become a pastime, but needs to remain as a useful tool for learning. Think back to how much you read while at school. Now what do we read and when? I imagine that there a more of us who choose to read on holiday rather than every week, and that it has become something you treat yourself to rather than a part of life. Poetry, for instance, is a wonderful form used to bring our brains in line with our souls. Taking the time to look at a piece of poetry and to drink in the words, then decipher your own meaning from it and your own enjoyment, giving yourself time to process the emotion that poems can give you if you open up to them, can give your brain and body a real boost.
Take time to consider your own happiness and your own journey. Imagine that you are in charge of your destiny and you control the steering wheel. Because in actual fact you do, we are being programmed to believe that we are in someone else’s hands and that our employers and overseers hold our destiny.