Why Taking Technology For Granted Is Making You Miserable — And What To Do Instead
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Why Being Grateful Is The Antidote To Technological Overwhelm
It’s hardly a secret that technological innovation is progressing at an astonishing rate, and faster by the day. With new products, apps, and tools emerging every day, even the savviest of technophiles can have a hard time keeping up, never mind the average person just praying they aren’t left too far behind.
It can feel like a losing battle, and an overwhelming one at that.
However, the secret to staying ahead of the technology game has surprisingly little to do with technology itself, and everything to do with how you think about it.
It all comes down to gratitude.
You see, it’s easy to focus on the negatives when it comes to technology. Our brains are hardwired to seek out potential threats in our environment, and the threat of being left behind is a powerful one. It taps into the very basic human need to feel included—a need advertisers capitalize on, to great effect, every chance they get.
Don’t get left behind.
Don’t be left out.
Don’t become obsolete.
In the workplace, this translates into fears about staying competitive. Team members worry they’ll lose their jobs to people with more advanced skills, or even to computers, while entrepreneurs worry they’ll lose clients to whichever competitor can stay on the cutting edge of new developments.
Don’t get stuck in “The Gap.”
This kind of thinking puts you in what we at Strategic Coach call “The Gap.” The Gap refers to the permanent distance between where you are and an unreachable ideal, and it’s separate from a goal, which is both measurable and achievable.
If you feel like you need to optimize every area of your life and business with technology, you’re aiming for an impossible ideal. You’re living in The Gap, and you’ll always be disappointed.
If you feel like you need to optimize every area of your life and business with technology, you’re aiming for an impossible ideal. Visit thegapandthegain.coach to learn a life-changing lesson that will help you set measurable, achievable goals and keep you out of “The Gap.”
Set goals, not ideals.
Instead, why not set a measurable, achievable goal? For you, it might be identifying one or two new technologies that will most streamline your process and add value for your customers, then finding the right team member to help you implement it. You don’t have to do everything yourself, and there will always be someone eager, willing, and qualified to do what you aren’t.
For the rest of your team, an achievable goal might be to learn how to make use of the new technology within a specific time frame, such as by the next quarter.
Then, you can start being grateful for the value you’ve gained in personal or organizational productivity rather than being anxious about what other innovations you’re missing out on.
There will always be more you don’t know, and you’ll drive yourself crazy fixating on the impossible ideal of learning it all. Instead, bolster your confidence by measuring your success backwards; consider all the ways technology has already made your life easier, all the improvements you’ve already made.
Because gratitude is a skill and a practice, and it requires a conscious decision to think differently.
It’s also one of the most rewarding decisions you’ll ever make (and the biggest thing that separates happy people from unhappy ones, incidentally).
As Dan says, “Our eyes only see and our ears only hear what our brain is looking for.”
You’ll always find reasons to be unhappy if you’re looking for them.
So while it’s easy to take technology for granted, it’s much more productive to be grateful for it.
Just think about all of the amazing capabilities we now have in the 21st century that were unimaginable the century prior: From smartphones and WiFi to high-speed trains and 3D printing, we’re living in an age of abundance and technological wonder.
Yet, for most of us, wonder quickly transforms to entitlement. We forget that it used to take all day to download a single song and instead complain when it takes more than a few seconds. Every new capability we gain just becomes part of our new normal, and we stop being grateful for it.
Wonder is the antidote to entitlement.
The thing is, there’s nothing about technology itself that will bring forth your gratitude. You have to consciously choose to be grateful for it. If you just passively accept every new innovation rather than actively foster your belief in an abundant world, you’ll always find yourself wanting more.
That means if you want to avoid feeling overwhelmed by technology, and protect your team members from the same, you have to be proactive about your appreciation. You have to focus on what you’ve gained already rather than what you wish you could have moving forward.
As German inventor Frederick Koenig said, “We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.”