Lifescale is a guide for unleashing creativity and a path to true happiness.
We are checking our smartphones an average of 47 times per day and spending close to 3 hours on our devices daily, according to a recent survey.
So what are we giving up every time we pick up those amazingly expansive yet incredibly addictive devices?
According to Serial Author, Futurist and Digital Anthropologist, Brian Solis…a LOT.
I recently had the pleasure of hearing Brian present his latest book Lifescale, How to live a more creative, productive and happy life at an SF New Tech gathering at Docusign’s lovely headquarters in SF.
Brian’s book was born out a personal journey he took when he realized his own addiction in the process or rather attempt to write a different book. The constant distractions were changing the way he worked, causing him to procrastinate and impacting his creativity. He realized his struggle was not unique and that many (most) of us struggle from the same addiction, where we are seeking happiness through the external validation of others (mostly strangers).
We have become “accidental narcissists” that worship at the altar of social validation in the form of followers, likes, comments and shares, at the expense of what truly makes us happy – a sense of purpose, connection and presence.
“Who you are, what you think, feel and do, what you love – is the sum of what you focus on.”Winifred Gallagher
It’s Not Just Our Fault.
These systems were designed to get us hooked. It’s called persuasive design and it’s something companies like Facebook and Twitter have perfected. Some designers even happily fess up to “juicing” us – yes people we are getting juiced by our screens, it’s our crack.
Brian believes it’s not just disruption we need to worry about, it’s mediocrity. “I don’t think anyone of us woke up today to be mediocre.”
Yet mediocrity is what we get when we waste hours of our day anticipating social praise (likes) and living a life of FOMO that comes from engaging in the continuous and never-ending scroll of a time suck.
So what can we do to get back to a state of flow, expand our creativity and get back to living our fullest and richest lives?
Well just like in most 12 step programs to cure addiction, the first step is recognizing you have a problem. It’s easy to track and see your usage patterns in your phone, limit your time spent or even simply manually count every time you reach for that phone.
The truth may be scary and shocking but as Brian says, “if ignorance is bliss, awareness is awakening.”
Finding Happiness Through Taking action
It turns out that happiness, creativity, and productivity are all interlinked. Making creativity a way of life makes us happier. Creativity is a catalyst to creating meaning and purpose in our lives and pushes us to take risks and open new doors.
Brian’s Lifescale book is a wonderful guide into how to making creativity a priority can lead to a more meaningful and fulfilling life. Here’s a shortlist of the tips he recommends for developing the discipline to making our best selves a priority.
- Visualize your goals and imagine the joy of accomplishment from their fulfillment.
- Use the pomodoro method to focus on one task at a time and close all other distractions including browser tabs and all notifications.
- Choose creativity in whatever form that takes – this increases your neuroplasticity, makes you happier, feeling younger and braver.
- Define your values (the book includes wonderful worksheets for this) and revisit them regularly to ensure you are in alignment.
- Cultivate mindfulness and reorient your thinking from “What about me? to What can I do?”.
- Think positively and with gratitude.
- Develop deep work rituals and ruthlessly schedule time for deep work into your daily schedule.
The book itself is a visual masterpiece that is a joy to consume with a playful yet impactful layout that entices you in and leaves you feeling empowered to take action.
Thank you Brian for taking the time to present your book, we loved having you at SF New Tech!