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For anyone concerned with living an authentic life — and it stands to reason that living an authentic life is a prerequisite for living a heroic life and becoming the kind of person you really want to be — it’s clear that becoming detached from the day-to-day essentials of life is a problem to take very seriously.
Once upon a time, Henry David Thoreau wrote that he had retreated to a cabin in the woods because he wanted to experienced what was real in life, and to avoid being distracted by all of the things that weren’t “life.”
These days, with high-speed internet connections and a TV in every home, it can be all too easy for us to put off our own heroes journeys, simply because we’re distracted by the high-tech comforts, pleasures, and illusions of the modern world.
One way of pushing back against this unconscious tendency, is to do some things the old-fashioned way from time to time. Here are a few examples of places you can get started.
Shave with a safety razor
Shaving may not seem much like big deal to anyone, and it’d be hard to argue that the way we shave has any real impact on the kind of lives we live overall.
Don’t be fooled, though. Even something as simple and seemingly irrelevant as the way we shave, can dramatically affect the sense of mindfulness we carry into the rest of our lives in general, not to mention the appreciation we have for the small things.
Shaving with a traditional safety razor, badger bristle brush, and shaving soap, means having to be much more attentive and thoughtful about the entire shaving process. Shaving becomes a meditative ritual, rather than just something you do in 5-minutes before running out of the front door.
Journaling and planning in an actual notebook
The “Bullet Journal” is a big phenomenon of recent times, and although many people have taken to the practice of “bullet journaling” by filling notebooks with vivid artwork and graphs, the original bullet journal template is extremely pared down and minimalistic.
The significant thing is that bullet journaling takes place in traditional, physical, paper journals. It requires a more mindful approach to the way you record and plan your days, and it gets you off the internet and away from the computer.
Try journaling and planning in an actual notebook, and you may be surprised by just how freeing and rejuvenating the experience can be, not to mention efficient.
Reading books more than watching TV shows
TV shows can be great, but books are something else altogether. When you read a good novel, your imagination comes alive and constructs a world for you. When you watch a TV show or a movie, the world has, for all intents and purposes, been “constructed” already and is beamed at you while you sit there passively.
Try to make a point of reading books more than watching TV shows, and you’ll likely find that you have a much richer and deeper experience with your entertainment.