“The secret to happiness is freedom…and the secret to freedom is courage.” Thucydides
Everyone needs some downtime. An opportunity to relax or shift your focus and put your mind in an alternate place. Meditation, or reading a good book (non-work related) are ways to clear your mind and temporarily put yourself in another place, mentally. Movies and video games afford the same opportunity; taken to the extreme, today's social media does the same thing on your phone, tablet, or computer. Our lives are busy and a mental break, shift, or trip to a galaxy far, far away is not only welcomed, but it is healthy.
In a movie out this past weekend, one I will admit to not having seen yet (it is on my short list) the future looks both possible and outright scary. People living in the equivalent to vertically stacked trailer parks in the sky, and most of their time spent “online” in a giant all-encompassing virtual reality world. While I am sure “stacked” mobile homes will, at least for now, not pass a variety of safety measures. How many people are already spending a high percentage of their day living in an alternate or controlled universe? Social media? Does all your news come from one source? When is the last time you spent a few hours with someone outside your regular circle of friends? Went to a different church, ate on the other side of town, visited a nursing home, a shelter, or a classroom?
We tend to create bubbles around ourselves. It is, after all, comfortable; it can also be unhealthy. Groupthink has brought down many a good business, failure to recognize that the neighborhood is changing means the slow death of a local store. Progress and change is hard, but it also makes for better individuals, and a better way of life on many levels. Change with lack of progress or adaptation results in stagnation and death by “surprise” when one day that bubble bursts and the real-world floods in, game over. There are two sides to every story, cause and effect, stimuli and response, repetition and recognition.
Yes, I know, this commentary has nothing to do with investing or the markets. No, not directly. But each of you need to be healthy in all areas of your lives, and I don’t simply mean eating more vegetables. I mean mentally, physically, financially, spiritually, in the entirety of your life kind of way. Take five minutes to read a poem, watch a cat video, or help someone in need- and ask them how they got there. Each of them just may make you a little healthier on one or more levels.