As a Venture Capitalist, my job is to continuously be an advocate and evangelist of tech innovation.
However, positive innovations can also admittedly create potentially negative/harmful corresponding side effects on individuals and culture as a whole.
For instance, we are now checking our phones on average 300 times per day, which equates to up to 5-hours each day. That’s a staggering statistic, and the numbers are only climbing!!
Nonetheless, I could easily contend that the majority of the 5-hours consists of very positive and efficient behaviors such as talking to family members, emailing colleagues about important business matters, listening to inspiring music, or reading the news.
But, I think I would be naive if I overlooked the negative, destructive, and egotistical behaviors. No matter what, I think tech innovation will always be a double-edged sword that can either empower people or lead them astray.
With that being said, I wanted to highlight an amazing app called Headspace that has changed my life (since I frequently get the question, “what’s your favorite app at the moment?”).
Headspace is a meditation app that helps you become more mindful of the present moment. For the record, I regrettably missed the investment opportunity a few years ago and am kicking myself right now!
I’m a huge fan of the positive message that the company is advocating and propelling into the mainstream.
If you’re like me, you’re either constantly planning for the future or reflecting on the past. Sometimes it’s too easy to overlook the present moment.
As a culture, we have developed an aversion to idleness because of the unrelenting abundance of stimuli.
Think about it…when was the last time you simply sat in silence without any distractions? Yeah, it’s probably been a while, right?!
To that point, I absolutely loved Michael Lewis’ recent article in Inc. entitled “Being Lazy Is the Key to Success, According to the Best-Selling Author of Moneyball.” Michael, a world-renown author, said “my laziness serves as a filter. Something has to be really good before I’ll decide to work on it.”
I could not agree with him more!! He also quite astutely said, “people waste years of their lives not being willing to waste hours of their lives. If you mistake busyness for importance – which we do a lot – you’re not able to see what really is important.”
In order to combat this aversion to idleness and simply just be “lazy,” I’m now turning to Headspace to find refuge from the busyness of this sometimes unrelenting world.
Headspace (and several other apps in this emerging consumer-facing sector) have become some of my favorite examples of how technology can benefit our lives in such a simple fashion. And the paradox is not lost on me – we need this complex phone and beautifully designed app in order to do absolutely nothing (shaking my head).
I’m now confident that this “mindfulness” trend will continue to strengthen over time, especially in the face of the flood of new egocentric social media apps.
In closing, it’s become too easy for us to become insanely busy. Everything is at our fingertips and disposal. So not only is it nice to just get away for a second, but I think it’s frankly become a necessity.
Sooooo, for the next 10 minutes…sit back, relax, and do absolutely NOTHING. Enjoy 🙂