Whenever I sit on a train, bus or whatever I don't see anyone. It's not that I don't see people. I see plenty of people. But I don't see their faces. Their faces are usually buried in all sorts of different devices.
And while people are busy consuming, scrolling, clicking and rushing from one piece of meaningless content, instant message, e-mail or whatever I use the time to get ahead.
Every second you're on your phone you lose. You lose time. Time you could have given your brain to recover. A break. Time to run free. To do whatever it wants to.
The mind needs time to breeze. Space to think. To digest. To reflect about the things that happened during the day. And your free time is the time to do exactly this.
If you constantly put stuff into your brain but never give it the time to process the things that happened, the things it experienced, the things it consumed it's like constantly filling water into a bottomless pit. It's like filling water into a bottomless bucket.
Everything will run right through it.
And that's exactly what most people tend to do these days. With the constant personal growth porn we're exposed to, people feel like they have to spend every freaking minute of the day improving themselves.
I feel that pressure, too. I feel the pressure to improve and get better every single day. I'm no exception.
So that's what we do. We try to get better every single day.
We read dozens of books in parallel. We listen to at least three podcasts at the same time. And read hundreds of blog posts a week. Just to get better. To improve ourselves. To grow as a person.
But what we tend to forget is that to connect the dots, to see the bigger picture, to create our own amazing ideas and world, to ultimately get ahead of everybody else, we need to give ourselves some time to think. Some space to breathe.
And yes, sometimes this means to do nothing at all. To just hang out. To put our devices away. To simply watch out of the window. To enjoy the blue sky. To watch the trees passing by. To listen to the birds. To be a dreamer. To enjoy the silence. Or the emptiness. Or the darkness.
You don't always have to turn on the lights in the dark. Sometimes it's nice to find a new way. To find your own way out of the dark. And into the light. Sometimes you just need to walk in the dark for a while to find a shortcut. A shortcut that might get you ahead of everybody else.
Sure, you might lose some time to find that shortcut. You might have to invest a few years. You might have to walk in complete darkness for quite some time until you've figured it all out. Until you've found your shortcut.
But once you did, you'll be three steps ahead of everybody else. You'll be three steps ahead of everybody else switching on the lights to escape the darkness.
[Related: I stopped giving a shit a long time ago]