Overcoming the Woes of Technology: Roadblocks to Success in Today's Society
It's pretty much a well known fact that today's world is a lot more complex than anything humanity has experienced before. History's measure of one's success also used to be very simple. If you worked hard and made the right moves, you could (fairly easily) become a very successful individual. Unfortunately the formula for success has been complicated by the world we live in and the very technology that we use to try to simplify our lives Being successful in today's world requires more than just strength, endurance, and wisdom. Now, more than ever, success requires us to overcome the very things that humanity has created. Our previous successes may just be the limiting factor in our ability to succeed in the future!
Convenience or Lethargy?
Humans innovate and invent things for one simple reason: to solve problems. What this boils down to is that we invent things to make our life easier and more convenient. But is all this convenience really to our benefit? In a previous article that I wrote several years ago, I highlighted the idea that convenience is killing humanity. While it's true that we live long lives now and that we've conquered many diseases, it's equally true that we live lower quality lives today than have at any other time.
How does all this relate to being successful? Well, in general, as life gets easier we seek to innovate less. If there isn't a challenge to overcome our mind and body will become complacent with the way that the world is. As life gets easier, our creative spirit slowly writhers away. Our brain thinks, " Life is easy and the problems I face are too big for me. Therefore complacency is the answer." After all, if we've got it so good, why would we need to create something new to improve our life?
Convenience also stymies our ability to succeed by creating distractions and promoting unhealthy habits which ultimately lead to a reduced capacity to perform at peak levels. One could make the argument that convenience would allow someone to spend more time focusing on their goals. There is certainly some truth to this statement, but we can't ignore the fact that convenience promotes complacency and lethargy in our life. To overcome convenience we must force our selves to actively think about succeeding and growing. For many people, this may even require some backward-thinking.
Social Media Addiction
How many of you out there reading this right now have a Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ tab open? As of this moment right now, as I type these words, there are nearly 4.6 million Americans logged into Facebook. That's a staggering number. What's more staggering are some statistics the subject of social media addiction. I won't go into detail in this article, but you can read about social media addiction here: Are You Addicted to Social Media?
While social media certainly has its benefits, and place, in today's society, we have to remember what a drain on our resources this is. More than 25% of the time that American's spend using the Internet is for social media related activities. Imagine what you could accomplish with all the time you spend on Facebook just during a one week period! It's not hard to see how social media promotes brain drain and creates a disincentive to be innovative, creative, and ultimately successful in today's world. Some may say that my conclusion is a far stretch from reality -but is it really that far-fetched?
Even if you're not concerned about the sins of convenience or social media addiction, you have to admit that we are a society that obsesses over being constantly entertained. From the latest games on our mobile devices and the newest console entertainment systems to the multi-billion dollar movie and music industries, the people of today demand to be entertained all of the time. This is especially true among today's youth.
This "entertain me please" mentality has severely hindered humanities ability to grow, learn, create, and ultimately succeed. Instead of reading a book or venturing out into the world to learn and experience new things, we seek to be constantly amused by mindless drivel. Entertainment is design to invoke feelings an emotions in people. However, rarely does "pure entertainment" lead to progressive thinking, creativity, and an innovative spirit.
Other Roadblocks to Our Future
In this article, I've only highlighted three sources of discontent in today's society. Certainly there are many other challenges (many of them technology related) that are preventing us from living at our highest potential. For example, let's not forget about our growing appetite for unhealthy food, the approaching technological singularity, and our government's slow progression towards pure socialism. These big picture ideas present quite a dystopian view of our future. However, that does not mean that you have to allow yourself to fail. You have the power within you to overcome anything.
Creating a Pathway for Success
There are many definitions for what a successful person is. For the purposes of this discussion, being successful means living your life in such a way that ensures that each moment in time is better than the last. This means that we should seek to always grow stronger and attain more wisdom and knowledge. Successful people seek to progress forward in all aspects of their lives rather than regress backwards.
Leading a truly meaningful and successful life does not have to be difficult. The many challenges of today's world can be easily overcome if you we simply take time to recognize the reality of our situation in life. By forcing ourselves to view our situation at any given moment "in the big picture," it forces us to start thinking about the consequences and long term impacts of our actions.
So for example, when you feel yourself being sucked into another episode of SpongeBob SquarePants, step back and ask yourself how this television show will contribute to making your life better. You can also ask yourself if what you are doing is going to create a long lasting benefit for you or if it is something that will just "pass time" in the moment? Asking yourself hard questions will help to ensure that each and every action you take ends up being for your betterment not your detriment.