You spend more time with your eyes on your phone than on the people you love. Save your relationships for living creatures.

I couldn’t wait to get my hands on her. The anticipation lasted months, and finally, she was on her way. Now, I had to be patient, and that was the difficult part. Her timing was unpredictable, through no fault of her own.

Not knowing the precise time she’d show up at my door, I was practically quivering. This was to be our first encounter, and all I could do was wait. My last one was no longer satisfying me, so I couldn’t wait for the future to arrive.

The doorbell rang, and I rushed to greet her. Grabbing her, I tossed her into my apartment, while being careful not to inflict any damage. With the door closed behind us, she was finally all mine.

I grinned.

I opened her right there in the living room, and finally held her in my arms. She was beautiful, and she would be constantly with me from that moment forward. My hands would remain on her throughout most of the day, every day. Every night she would be beside me.

And that’s how my Samsung Nexus 6P and I became an inseparable couple.

My girlfriend’s not happy about this new relationship. “Nexy” does get in the way. Often.

But my human companion has her own device she fondles as well, so this is a two-sided problem. Here’s what we’re going to do about it.

My partner noticed recently that when I’m writing or reading, my hands are usually on my device. Even if I’m not actively looking at the phone, I’ve got it in my hands, or it’s in my pocket. It’s touching me every waking hour of my life.

Maybe it’s the tactile warmth of active electronics that activated the pleasure receptors in my brain, or maybe it’s the security of holding onto something, anything. I am sure the manufacturers know all about the physical connection between a man or woman and his or her device, because they keep designing phones that are sleeker, more comfortable to touch, and more beautiful at which to longingly stare.

It’s almost as if they’re trying to sell even more of these devices. Don’t fall for that trick. Any relationship is sure to cost you money, but woo your lover, not your phone.

You have a stronger connection with your phone than you do with your partner because you see it more, touch it more, and interact with it more. Some devices even talk back to you with a “personality” all their own. (Siri’s creepy, right?)

So let’s get back to the point where our hours of staring, our longing gazes are for our intended, not our internet. Welcome to your new cellular plan.

Set aside time each day for purposeful disconnection. Thirty minutes a day away from the Internet is a good start until you alleviate the separation anxiety and don’t freak out from being out of touch for a very small time frame.

In this time, do something that doesn’t require technology on your part. Read a book! Write a story. Draw a picture. Think about your life.

Increase your separation time gradually. Eventually, see if you can go half your waking hours without your phone. Suddenly, the world is new! Nature once again exists, you can observe it with your eyes in person, and you can enjoy it.

Go see your friends. Socialization happens when everyone is actively involved in connecting — also known as talking and listening — with each other. Observe your friends. Count how many times each caresses his or her phone-companion.

Get some. Can you put the phone down long enough to have some extended physical and emotional time with your lover or anyone else? Forget the fact that you’re only together because you were both bored on your phones using Tinder. See if you can take your relationship to the next level — the “we don’t have to spend our limited time together sitting on the couch looking at nothing but our phones” level.

Look at each other! Touch each other! It’s so much more exciting than the boring comfort of holding your own device. Now you can explore each others’ devices.

If you know what I mean.

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What is the meaning of life? The answer is a little more complicated than 42. Here’s how to find your own purpose.

What’s the meaning of life? The reality is that the answer is a little more complex than 42.

Join us as we explore the meaning of life — and how you can bring your own meaning to your days through exploring your purpose and the larger things you’d like to do with your time.

This episode offers steps you can take to find your own purpose and begin moving forward to create a life that you enjoy and feel good about.

Concepts

  • What is the meaning of life?
  • Why are we so interested in finding a higher purpose to life?
  • Are there steps you can take to learn how to find your own meaning to life?
  • How a life map can help you identify what matters most to you.
  • Reasons to think about your legacy.

Don’t forget to create a life map by using a process described by Harlan. His own life map is interesting — and can offer you inspiration as you search for your own purpose in life.

Video Clips

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Resources

Huffington PostFind more meaning in your life.
CNNFind purpose in your career.
Brain PickingsInsight from Leo Tolstoy’s spiritual crisis.
About.comOverview of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

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Put your passions and interests down on paper. It will help you determine your life’s direction and how to spend your time.

Over the last year, I’ve been overwhelmed with possibilities for my life. New opportunities have been arising, and I’m interested in pursuing any number of these, and doing so might change the direction of my life.

The trouble started when I was much younger. Continue reading “Your Life Map Will Clear Your Path”

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Worried about what happens when your self-discipline breaks down a little bit? Here’s how cheat days can help you recommit and reach your goals.

Could cheat days actually help you accomplish your goals?

We praise self-discipline a great deal, and even we acknowledge that sometimes you just have to suck it up and do what you need to do. However, there are times that cheating a little can help you accomplish your goals.

Before you decide that you can’t have any fun, consider that adding cheat days to your routine could actually help you in the long run.

Concepts

  • What are cheat days?
  • Should you even use the term cheat days? What does it imply when you think that your life is no fun?
  • How can fudging a little on your discipline help you accomplish your overall goals?
  • Tips for making cheat days more effective.

Video Clips

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Resources

American Psychological AssociationInformation from the APA at about will power and its limits.
University College of LondonUniversity College of London busts the myth of the 21 day habit formation.
MyFitnessPalMy Fitness Pal breaks down the problems with cheat days and how they can slow you down.
WebMDWebMD explains how to use cheat days to boost your willpower and reach your goals.

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Kids think adults can do whatever they want. The truth is that you need to get things done — even if it’s not fun.

We all have days when we don’t feel like doing anything. But that doesn’t mean that we can just go back to bed. Adulting is sometimes about doing things you don’t want to do — just because it’s the right thing to do.

We discuss some of the things that might be holding you back, as well as excuses you might be making. Learn to overcome your reluctance by understanding yourself and looking for ways to reward yourself be doing what you need to do.

Even if you aren’t motivated, you can still get things done.

Concepts

  • Why don’t millennials want to participate in hard work?
  • What are some of the hangups holding you back?
  • Strategies for learning how get things done when you don’t feel like it.
  • The importance of doing things that may be unpleasant.
  • How do you identify excuses vs. legitmate reasons not to do something?

Video Clips

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Resources

Miami HeraldNews report on the “Monitoring the Future” study showing millennial disconnect between hard work and money
Psychology TodayStrategies for identifying excuses and overcoming them so you get things done

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