Relax, sharpen the saw and live like a smartphone


We’re in an age where everything happens at once. All of it. Multiple inputs, minimum processing time and maximum output is not something that makes us unique, it is the new norm for survival! The biggest disruption of the digital age has been the belittlement of the shelf life of any technology, trend, skill or even music. Try and remember a recent popular track that’s stuck in your head for more than a couple of weeks?

In this era of rapid change, I’ve been fortunate to read books that contain the wealth of knowledge from the best thinkers and thought leaders. A particularly thought that stuck with me, as was the late Dr Stephen Covey states – ‘Sharpen the Saw’. Incremental improvements, each day, every day of our life is what truly matters at the end.

We’ve heard a lot of ‘pep-talks’ about how it’s important to continuously learn and keep us updated. Some of them momentarily charging us up as well, only to fizzle out soon. I, for once, have found a lot of inspiration from a device that has become a way of living for most of us today – a smartphone!

Consider this; there was a time (just a couple of years back) when only a handful of Indian mobile phone users could afford the iPhone. Today, you can easily see them in every other hand. That’s how dynamically our environment is changing. And although apple launches a new iPhone every year, what makes the previous models relevant is the operating system. Small incremental updates make the phone’s performance, secure and better with each upgrade. Annual design and performance overhauls pack exciting new features and help owners accomplish new things with the same device.

PS. I’m an apple fan but I’m only using this as an example. The same can be applied to any other phone. I hope you get the point!
We humans, the way I see it, are similar to this smartphone. We have little control over the hardware (brain & body) that we’re blessed with, but complete control over maintaining it. Also, we have complete control over the software (mind) that keeps our systems relevant. Here are three perspectives, of how I see the smartphone as a living inspiration for every human breathing air on this planet.

Energy from the right source enhances life

A phone needs a daily dose of a charge for it’ systems to be up and running. Overcharging it, impacts smooth operation and the life of its battery. Undercharging it, will render it capable to perform fewer tasks. Using the wrong adapter, will impact the time to charge as well as overall battery performance.

Our body is quite complex, compared to this smartphone, and is the greatest instrument we’ll ever own. Our daily energy comes from the food we eat, the water we drink and the air we breathe. Eating well and breathing right optimises our performance and keep us running. And while right breathing can be achieved through meditation, eating & drinking well requires a philosophical change toward our approaches. After dealing with acid reflux for more than two years, I followed Dr. Anju Venkat at The Health Awareness Centre and saw a different side to food. By decoding the energy needs for our body’s various functions, she busts a lot of myths around healthy eating. You might want to have a quick look here to understand this better!

Kill apps to reduce the load

A best practice to use any smartphone is too frequently kill apps as having multiple windows open drains out the battery, overheats the processor and impacts performance.

Our mind has too many thoughts too, that clouds it and jams up the mental RAM. And it’s not simple to kill these thoughts on the click of a button. This needs practice. Hence meditate. You’ll be amazed to learn about the true potential of your mind by giving it a few breaks, every now and then. If you’re new to mediation, try headspace, it’s the best addiction you’ll ever get.

Always look for upgrades

Another best practice is to keep your phone updated with the latest operating system for bug fixes and to improve performance. Our mind needs these performance improvements too. Hence, invest in developing new skills. It could be as simple as communicating better to more complex things like ‘critical thinking’ or learning a new language. Think ahead and stay ahead.

Authors through their books, and subject matter experts through their physical and online sessions, allow you access to their wealth of knowledge and stay updated. So, read, listen and connect your way to relevance. I’ll be sharing details about a framework we’re creating at Univibe to enable people to achieve this soon!

My parting thoughts are for you to wonder, that the next generation of smartphones will possess better hardware, will be smarter and faster. Would you be replaced or fight to stay relevant?

Do let me know what you think!

By: Hitesh Dudani