If you are like the average person in the USA, your TV at home is on for about 6 hours a day. That is almost like pulling a 2nd shift of work! Granted, a lot people are multitasking – having dinner, talking on the phone, reading, on the computer, or doing homework. Nevertheless, the television watches all. It would be interesting to think from the perspective the TV, as if it were alive. How would it look upon you?
Recently, I have lowered my TV consumption by a huge margin. I used to leave my TV on while I was reading, on the computer, eating and while I was on the phone. For some reason, I just prefered to have some noise in the background. Perhaps it was to satisfy a short attention span – making it very easy to distract myself for a few moments. Or maybe it was that I feared complete silence – I did not want to have to listen to my own thoughts. Could it be that I was trained to be bombarded by media, and that I had grown to need it?
What made me turn off the tube? I wish I could say that I had a spirtual awakening and realized that I was wasting my time and losing focus on what I really should be doing. The sad truth is that my bedroom is rather small, and I have a large plasma TV. If you do not know, plasma TV’s consume a large amount of energy. In fact, they use so much energy that the Governator is banning 40″+ plasma TV’s in California! Even that would be a noble cause – to lower TV viewing and conserve energy. But that is not the reason why.
If you have seen pictures of me, you would know that I am a big, hairy man. I have been called many things: the bear, were-wolf, sasquatch – you get the point. Being such a well insulated person, I estimate that I am about 5 degrees fahrenheit warmer than the average person. Needless to say, I sweat profusely, and dehydration is a common foe of mine. What does this have to do with TV? As I said, the plasma consumes a large amount of energy, and a good amount of it is emitted as heat. In my small room, the TV actually generates enough heat to really make my room like a large oven, causing me to sweat like a wild boar. As a result, I would have to leave my room and drink a gallon of ice water to bring my temperature down (sometimes even jumping into a cold shower).
I told you it was quite sad! Nevertheless, not all great changes stem from noble causes. As a result of my reduced TV viewing, I have been able to complete one book a week, write on a daily basis, achieve and complete higher quality work all the while maintaining a comfortable body temperature.
So that means TV is the devil and we should smash them? No. I enjoy TV just like every red blooded American does. But I have found that you will enjoy your experiences more if you FOCUS on them, one at a time. We are always trying to do so many things at once, that we do not find time to enjoy any of it! You may be thinking, “But I have to eat, finish my work and play with kids. How am I going to have time to focus?” Make the time. The fact is, you will always have things to do. If you think you will only have to grind and multitask for a short period of time, you are fooling yourself. Make the time to dedicate your full attention to one activity. Really focus, so that you may do your best and you will find that you can actually enjoy it!
If you have the mindset that everything is hectic and needs to be done quickly, you will fulfill your own prophecy. Take the time to disect your daily schedule, and budget your time properly so that you can give your all in everything that you do. Think about it, would you want your surgeon who is conducting heart surgery on you to be watching TV as he was cutting into you? Exactly. You owe yourself the same respect.