Sunday, March 13, 2011

Re-discovering the 'non-virtual' world

You may find the title of this article intriguing, "Re-entering the 'non-virtual world."

What is the 'non-virtual' world?

For me it is the present world, the real world. Early this week I was walking across a bridge over the Yarra River. The early morning sun was rising in the east to a back drop of a beautiful clear sky in various hues of blue. The Melbourne city skyline looked magnificent.

At first I continued walking. After all I still had a bit of a walk ahead of me before I reached the building in Melbourne's financial district where I was to meet my client. As I walked I had been going over my preparation for my meeting.

The view I saw was so stunning that I stopped. I remember thinking, "Gary, this is beautiful. Why don't you stop and just take it in."

You know the energy that you get when you see something beautiful. That's how I felt viewing what was before me.

Then I noticed that everyone was rushing past me, seemingly unaware of the beauty before them. At a closer look I noticed the ear plugs. A very high percentage of people had them in their ears. Then I noticed something else. Despite the high number of people passing me, I didn't hear a word of conversation.

I decided to take a photo of this beautiful scene using the camera in my phone. As I'm not a photographer my photo doesn't do the view justice, but it is not too bad just the same.

As I reflected on this scene I began to wonder about the percentage of our lives that we live in the 'non-virtual' world. In other words, how much of our time is actually spent in the present? The present is a place where the world is alive right now. There is literally no past and no future. Just now, just this moment.

In terms of work this relates to our awareness of what is happening right now. How engaged are people with this meeting right now? How honest are people right now? What is the 'energy' within our office space like right now? How are staff treating each other right now?

As a fairly high user of the virtual world myself I am not advocating abandoning it. On the contrary I believe it has a valuable place in our lives and social media is just one example.

What I am talking about is balance. Sometimes I run with my iPod, but most often I don't. I want to be in the present when I'm running, and I want to be able to use all my senses when I'm in it.

Being in the present means that I increase my chances of seeing and then being a part of beauty.

It was amazing how the energy that I received from the view from the bridge that morning sustained me through the day.

What are your experiences of re-discovering the 'non-virtual' world'?

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