Productivity, motivation, and responsible living must be at an all-time low in the United States. As a society, we’re lazy, unhealthy, unproductive wastes of life. Yes, wastes of life. We spend our free time numbly shopping, watching TV, surfing the internet, watching movies, etc. Donald MacNaughton, a consultant on leadership development and performance psychology, wrote a compelling post, Wide Awake, about just this.
“We do many things to keep ourselves asleep and on auto-pilot in this world , see if you recognize any? Drink, food, buying things, t.v. worrying, sex, work.” MacNaughton says.
Americans spend 28 hours per week watching television. That’s a part-time job worth of TV viewing. A part-time job. And I’m guessing the Discovery Channel, the History Channel and the Science Channel aren’t the top three most-watched channels. So what could be done with those 28 hours instead?
Our wasted television time could be used to:
- Read something substantial for an hour a day
- Volunteer five hours of your week to good causes
- Mentor, play with, or talk with children for seven hours a week
- Spend two hours a week discussing real issues with real people, editing and adding educational information to a webpage (like Wikipedia), watching educational television programs (maybe online to eliminate commercial break waste), learning to do something productive and new
- Exercise for one hour a day
Imagine if each American volunteered for 260 hours a year, mentored our nation’s youth for an hour a day, got a decent amount of exercise, and further expanded his or her mind by focusing on reading, education, society, and other people.
I’ll stop here because I’m getting depressed doubting that this will ever happen.
But stop sleep walking through life. I’m guilty of it: shutting my brain off in my down-time, indulging in completely unproductive activity. But that’s really a drain on society. You can’t just do whatever you want and think it doesn’t hurt everyone.
So, hopefully, good morning.