This week’s Wednesday Wisdom is a fabulous passage from a book I am reading right now, titled The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman, which, as the title implies, offers 366 days of Stoic insights and exercises from the ancient greats such as Emperor Marcus Aurelius, playwright Seneca and many more. The book is full of short powerful, inspirational quotes with interesting commentary and anecdotes, geared to help the reader find serenity, self-knowledge, and resilience required to live well.
This particular passage grabbed my attention because it seemed so very appropriate for the times we live in.
“One of the most powerful things you can do as a human being in our hyperconnected, 24/7 media world is say: ‘I don’t know.’ Or, more provocatively: ‘I don’t care.’
Most of society seems to have taken it as a commandment that one must know about every single current event, watch every episode of every critically acclaimed television series, follow the news religiously, and present themselves to others as an informed and worldly individual.
But where is the evidence that this is actually necessary? Is the obligation enforced by the police? Or is it that you’re afraid of seeming silly at a dinner party? Yes, you owe it to your country and your family to know generally about events that may directly affect them, but that’s about all.
How much more time, energy, and pure brainpower would you have available if you drastically cut your media consumption? How much more rested and present would you feel if you were no longer excited and outraged by every scandal, breaking story, and potential crisis (many of which never come to pass anyway)?”
The takeaway is: You don’t have to stay on top of everything
We all need make time to do what really matters. Rather than try and keep up with all that’s happening around us, why not practice saying “I don’t know” or even, “I don’t care”?
Think about this question:
How much more time, energy, and pure brainpower would you have available if you drastically cut your media consumption?”
With that in mind, start by tracking how you spend your time—maybe for a week.
Think about how much of your time you can take back.
Think about how you can use that time mindfully.
Practice saying I don’t know, I don’t care.
Perhaps ancient wisdom appears somewhat archaic and not always suitable for current times—but that is not true. After all, as I enjoy repeating, we stand on the shoulders of giants and if their philosophies helped them rise to great heights, there’s no reason why this wisdom should not help just about anyone who is focused and determined to accomplish her goals. Ask any successful CEO or present-day luminaries who’ve done a great deal to influence the course of the world.
“Make time for yourself…stop letting yourself be pulled in all directions.” Marcus Aurelius
Wednesday Wisdom is a series with short bursts of easy-to-consume wisdom in the form of stories, quotes, anecdotes, and humor.
There is so much disinformation and misinformation disseminated in our times that it is hard to know anything for sure as far as what’s going on in the world. The things I know are those tangible things in my personal world and even then I sometimes wonder how much I know for sure. And there is plenty not to care too much about.
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Ah I am so glad to read this as I am someone who says i dont know/care about a whole load of news and other stuff. I have a general idea of whats happening but wont like to and dont get into debates with anyone over it!!
Love this book Vidya- marked it to be picked up one of these days by me!!!
Ahhh! This is something I always do. Proud to say this now.
I do not read the Newspaper, I do not watch TV, I do not watch series of Netflix or any other shows. I only keep myself informed about the things that directly affect me and my Family.
I have no shame admitting this.
Yesterday only I listened to Sadguru about the amount of information we gather and amount of it we use in actual. Rest is noise.
upasna recently posted…Blogchatter Projects- Giving wings to your dreams
I agree. There is a ton of information available and we don’t need to know every single thing. It’s okay not to know about the latest trends though it might come across as “living under a rock”. Maybe that’s the fear that drive people to keep uptodate with everything. Well, I already don’t know many things. Does that make me wise in this scenario? 😀
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I have a small note taped to my computer. It says “I don’t know.” Just a reminder to myself!
One of my favorite quotes is this one from Adyashanti. “Start with ‘I don’t know.’ Why not just start with where you’ll end up anyway?”
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Right on! We should only concern ourselves with things that are important to us, not the world at large. Well said, Vidya. 🙂
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Namaste, indeed. Wise words.
Thank you dear Darla! Namaste to you! Hugs!
I agree that it’s impossible to stay on top of everything, and definitely unhealthy for our peace of mind. We need to know enough about what matters to us, and that’s about all. The rest is just toxic junk. 🙂
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