As promised, here I am with the results of my one week challenge. It was an interesting period filled with a lot of nothing and quite a bit of grey. There was a lot of writing and talking during this time. I met versions of myself I thought had been lost forever. I underwent a semi reawakening so to say and frankly it was fun. Without dwelling much on the niceties this is what I learnt the past week:
- It really does not matter what Chris Brown sang in a song.
Music is a huge part of my life and I encounter it one way or another each and every day. I sing, I listen to and I create music. So giving up listening to music for a week awakened the shower Vandross in me. I sang a lot during this period, when I drove, as I cooked and as I walked. Also I started paying particular attention to the lyrics in songs as they seem to have become less emotive and more logical. Some of the dependent stuff that’s out there is just sad. Lyrics like “as long as my bitches love me” sound plain and simple when you just sing along in the club or wherever. Sing that tune a dozen more times and I bet a part of you might start believing that it’s okay if you argue with your girlfriend about infidelity as long as your bitches love you. So by Sunday this week I sang less and spent more time thinking through activities. I began to view music as a privilege. Something you enjoy after achieving something. Suddenly the integration of music throughout our lives made less sense to me at that point. Nowadays People listen to music all the time. I mean all the time. Music plays in the background as they make love, as they sleep, as they quarrel, work, study, defecate, drive, jog, eat and then some. We have become dependent on the ideologies of the popular culture of listening to music. It is no longer a treat but a right which must be held by the law of Mp3 and massive downloads. To cut the long story short I appreciated music a lot more during my little break. I feel like I developed a deeper relationship with the artists I have found symbiosis with. Notably I realized that life was meant to be lived by me. The constant temptation of believing what I heard has begun holding less ground. So now when I hear Chris brown sing “these whores aint loyal”, I smile because that statement is both a) very catchy (I won’t take that away) and b) a very subjective statement. Okay take away from this point: don’t give music too much power.
- Books will make you dumb.
Okay I got your attention. The bookworms reading this have probably left by now cussing with big words like “this is malarkey”. What I really mean is that overdependence on the concepts of others might drown your natural voice and ability to create. They say there’s nothing new under the sun. Unfortunately this has become the regurgitate of society today and we might actually lay back not expecting to create anything of value because most likely it’s already been done. I love books because they make me a lot more aware of my environment. Books create a healthy perception of the world in my mind’s eye. I read various types of books from psychology to cook books. However a week without books released the most creativity I have experienced for a very long time. I managed to write five articles in four days. To some that’s not an achievement but I’ve been pushing forward the publishing of one article for the past four years so that’s quite a big feat in my books. Obviously I was doing something wrong by reading too much but the point here is that a break from the knowledge intake is necessary for any person who wants to create. I am glad I learnt this as I am treating books with a lot more care now. I think it should be everybody’s goal to do more than they read. Life after all is for living not reading.
- TV is the devil
The hardest thing to do was avoid television. As we speak I started writing this article about two weeks ago until I met Patrick Jane “The Mentalist”. I haven’t written an article let alone a paragraph in this time. This show takes about 40 minutes per episode and per night maybe I would watch 3 of these. That’s more than enough time to write a blog or read a good book maybe work on a business idea but no, Patrick Jane every night. Ultimately, what this has made me realize is that television gives us the impetus to live life vicariously. To have a surrogate existence fuels the procrastination we all seem to battle. With this particular medium there’s very little thinking involved just a lot of intake. Remember, the brain processes everything we feed it; maybe we should be a bit nicer to this very vital organ. Is television an end in itself? I don’t think so.
So, in summary I would like to state that I didn’t have the perfect week of no media as envisaged. It was very difficult to avoid what has become such a huge part of our society today. Finding alternatives to constant music, television and massive online usage is a difficult task but definitely a worthy pursuit. Spending more time with people and having real conversations about interests and aspirations could be a good one. I’m sure there’s a lot more out there, a lot of juice to be squeezed from my existence. Maybe in pursuing a life of value; songs, movies and blogs will be written about us, but there’s a high chance we will be too busy doing stuff to find the time for this. If you have an experience you would like to share kindly let us know in the comments below.