How to keep up with technology and not lose your mind in the process

The world seems to be changing at warp speed, to me; does it to you, too? I wonder when I turned into my mother.

Hunkered down at home on a Monday due to storm cancellations, I thought it a good time to take care of the personal business that I put off as long as possible — checking credit card statements, emails, movie reviews, and frequent flier mile questions. Things that have no urgency or deadline attached yet have the power to drive a person crazy when tackled in between two things that do have a deadline or urgency, real or imagined.

Is it really the thing that has that power?

Or is it our ability to think, that has the power? In fact, our ability to think has to be powered by the same life force that powers our heart and lungs. Our ability to think is accompanied by the free will to think anything! I learned this from Sydney Banks, who, in 1973, discovered that we all operate from three Principles: Divine Mind, Thought and Consciousness, which taken together give us an experience of our lives every second we are alive. Divine Mind refers to the power behind everything including the human ability to think. Consciousness refers to the fact that we are always conscious of what we think, it makes what we think appear as though it is the one reality. Thought refers to the ability to think anything. From this knowledge came my awareness that I could think about (reflect on) whatever I choose and I don’t have to believe any of it since I’m the one making it up.
I exercised this ability and decided to settle in and enjoy the process of taking care of the mundane things we all have to keep on top of in life.

I made my way down the list, letting out a sigh of relief with each check mark as though I had just won an Olympian award for most organized or best checker offer. Accomplishment can be such a thrill. I’m happy to have made up that game with myself, it elevates the mundane to a higher power. Why not? It feels better to do things that way and makes the mundane more pleasant.

It seems to me that we’ve been given the ability to be selfish (which is nothing more than thinking selfish thoughts and believing them, or not) — why not put that ability to good use? I used to think it was selfish to look for ways to take care of myself. I would have put finding a calm state of mind in that category thinking that the only person it would benefit would be me and then I’d get less done. Or so I thought.

First, It’s better for everyone involved when we look at things from the vantage point of a calm mind. Did it have to take a storm to see that? Not only does it not take time to be calm, it’s also good for everyone with whom I come into contact!


Let’s have a closer look…

Since when does being calm take time?

That sounds so funny to me now — I realized that it’s something I thought that I was unaware of thinking. It’s because of the Principles at play within us, that made it look real to me. I actually believed that I needed time to calm my mind — now that’s quite an idea to entertain. I reflected on the consequences of believing in such drivel.

When having to deal with customer support, I would get a thought about how annoying that’s going to be so I’d put it off, like I would if I were a kid having to clean her room or brush her teeth. Why do I think it has to be a bad experience?

All the things I put off until I THINK I’ll have time for them!

I realized that I made that up. It doesn’t have to be that way! By putting things off, the pile would only get higher and then I’d have a bunch of anxious thoughts about what needed to get done that I wasn’t doing. I would never consider if my state of mind was calm and if not, just go to a calm mind, and pick up the phone. In a calm mind, it was easy to make the choice to enjoy my time with customer service. Why not?

This insight came to me as I hung up the phone with an AT&T technician in Kentucky, named Samantha.We had a lovely time joking about how we all need a college degree in “Satellite Internet/TV remotely controlled interchange/exchange,” and a minor in cyber phonics —  we laughed; the whole thing was a pleasant exchange.

New technology can connect phone lines to TV and probably other mobile devices as well. I enjoyed moving through all the internet windows, with Samantha’s guidance, to find the page that showed me my incoming calls because the number I thought I heard on my voice mail was not a working number.

Since you can’t leave breadcrumbs on the internet, I had no idea how I would ever be able to retrace those steps without an AT&T technician on the other end of a phone line. I couldn’t help but wonder how long it took Samantha to learn all that.

I complimented her on her skills to which she told me a story about an ER Surgeon who was similarly amazed that he could do what he does by day and be completely stumped at night by a TV and a remote controller.

I commented that we all need one another and as our society becomes ever more complicated, we need one another even more. There is no individual human brain that can do it all. Even Einstein would probably need some technical assistance in today’s world.
Complicated societies require the expertise of many people. New jobs will have to be created for all the new details of modern day life. That remark seemed like a no-brain er to Samantha and me, yet a roomful of politicians may not draw the same conclusion. I wish I had asked her how long it took to learn her job and what her salary was and what her age was, but that would not be socially acceptable — or would it? In future generations perhaps it will. I chose to stick with my conditioned viewpoint that those questions would not be socially acceptable and I didn’t want Samantha to think I was prying.

She also led me through a series of steps that began at the Start button, cascaded to Control Panel and then to Internet Networking — behind that door lays the answer to the question: How many bars do you have? I know I’m being a bit glib right now since most people are quite familiar with this and in fact if I keep going you’ll know my age — or at least within 5 years of my age. I know a little but not nearly enough to keep up with the pace of technology today.

A friend warned me a couple of years ago, saying, “you’d better keep up with technology or you’ll be a dinosaur like the older CEO’s who refuse to learn as though they are better than that, and are meanwhile being replaced by their younger, tech savvy, employees.” The world has changed at warp speed; we can fight it, grin and bare it, or embrace it — the choice is ours to make. We have the free will to think anything we want.

We joked about how we can be on hold for 1/2 an hour and once someone actually picks up we’re then led through a maze, trying to figure out how to word the question, never mind figure out what the answer means.

Samantha told a story about an 80-year-old woman she tried to guide through a series of steps and the degree of patience it required because the woman could barely get beyond turning the thing to the ON position. Heavens, where will the world be when I turn 80? I had better keep up, or at the very least stay friendly with the Samantha’s of the world — they rule!

I wrote down Sam’s info so I could give her a good review for her calm effort with me.
Samantha  SL486N