Through lots of reflection, I decided on one word that I would make my "word for 202:" FOCUS. I recognize that the way my brain works it is easy for me to become distracted in the small activities in the larger targets I set. 2020 has proven to amplify this fact.
Before I share what this means to me, a quick disclaimer, what I am about to share with you is my journey and I am in no way telling anyone they need to follow me. I plan on sharing my experience and how my actions and commitments for 2021 affect my life. I am going to be as open and honest as possible.
THE PROBLEM (FOR ME)
I would go on a trip or vacation with my family and come back more exhausted than when I left. As if my search for rest and relaxation was completed ruined by the tasks at hand, I didn't feel more connected, just more tired.
I would continuously find myself scrolling on my phone (typically Email, Instagram or Facebook), after about 20 seconds in I would recognize it and would think to myself, "how did I get here?" It didn't seem like a choice.
I would look at my email in the morning prior to getting to work and it would stress me out. The rest of my day, the sense of stress wouldn't leave me until I was able to address the concerns.
I would get emotionally drawn into, for a lack of a better word, "drama" around me. Whether it be losing an hour on Facebook Video watching our political system in disarray or getting frustrated about a person's situation... someone I didn't even know nor did I have all the facts surrounding the circumstance.
I realized the last time I had a face to face (heart to heart) conversation that lasted longer than 5 minutes with my stepson was months ago. This seems crazy to me because in California our kids are doing school from home, which means I actually am spending more time in close proximity to him. Not just him, but with my other kids and my wife; as COVID has caused much of the social life (going to restaurants, spending time with friends and close family, etc.) more difficult. I felt more disconnected even with more time.
Finally, and this was a big one, I felt like I was making Josh, my business partner, dream happen. I had lost a connection to my purpose with in Off The Grid, or just my purpose in general. It is so easy to get caught up in the day to day and forget what drives your passion.
THE RECOGNITION (FOR ME)
I am a part of an outside coaching and mentorship environment. I have been in similar programs for the last 3 years and I still feel the greatest investment one can make is into themselves, I am living proof this is true.
I went from running a passionless marketing agency to growing Off The Grid 34x over in the last 3 years (don't get too excited revenue was minimal when I started as CEO). The growth I have seen in my life is significant as I entered into a new operating system for myself through the help of coaches and mentors.
One of the habits I took up is meditation. Yes, I probably thought the same thing you are thinking now, what is this, some kind of yogi, granola, new age, chakra craziness? All I can say is, don't knock it till you try it. I now meditate nearly every morning. It was during one of these meditations that I realized how I can bring a new vision to Off The Grid.
In my last post, I discussed what the meaning behind Off The Grid was to us. Off The Grid is a state of mind found on adventure, away from the day to day. We even updated our purpose statement to: "We exist to support and inspire connection through adventure." We disconnect to connect. Adventure, as a verb is defined: "to engage in an exciting activity, especially the exploration of unknown territory."
For some reason, during one of my meditations, I was considering this new purpose and I kept thinking, how can I embody this as a person? What is my adventure? How can I bring the Off The Grid State Of Mind into my everyday life?
I thought about my last trip which I didn't have cell service while wheeling in Ocotillo Wells with my family. I thought of how I have been taking walks during my lunch away from my phone to clear my head. Whatever it was, I came to one conclusion:
The more distraction I have in my life, the less I embody OUR purpose. I had to be
honest with myself, the most distracting activity in my life is social media.
I have gone on "social fasts" before, but never considering completely removing the social media "distraction" from my life. Let me be super clear, this is MY experience. As they say, YMMV (your mileage may vary), I am just being honest. I recognized that I might be able to have a better life without it and there is only one way to find out.
So, in good ole' fashion, Bobby decision-making fashion, I deleted it. When I say "it," I specifically mean the Facebook and Instagram Apps from my phone. I am also considering others, but for now this is where my journey begins.
OFF THE SOCIAL GRID
I am calling 2021, "Off The Social Grid," for me personally. I want to know what happens when I no longer have the temptation to scroll, to watch political videos as an hour passes by, to see what is happening in people around me (even people I have never met get my attention). Where can I divert that attention? How much time will I get back? How much more focus can I gain? Most importantly, how will this influence my life? Will my brain change? Will less computing power to these outlets, translate to more power elsewhere?
This is a personal choice; we are not deleting Off The Grid's Instagram, Facebook or YouTube Channel. In fact, we plan, on producing more content than ever. Ironically, my journey will be posted for others to see, in a segment we are calling "Off The Social Grid". Before the uproar happens, and I am called a hypocrite, which we actually gotten before for even using computers in our business, I do not personally publish on OTG's social channels. We have a marketing agency that does that, and Josh monitors the comments and the DM's.
I have created the space for me to be able to fully get "Off The Social Grid," but again this is not for you... it is for me. I honestly don't care if you like it or not. My question for me is, "will my life get better?"
I am not asking anyone to join me, I am only asking (and giving permission) to myself to take this journey. If you are interested in this journey, please just continue following. My posts will be shared on all OTG platforms, but primarily weekly on our blog. I will respond to comments once a week as I do want to hear your feedback.
If you are reading this via email, you can respond to the email, it will get to me and I will respond accordingly.
Here's to 2021, the year of more focus… for me.