Act or React?

12 Jan 2005|Added Value

In my role at Cheskin leading Operations, I receive an intense amount of information, and share a lot as well. I often wonder what our limit is for information stimulation. When does too much information become a bad thing?

This weekend I watched Jacques Tati’s M. Hulot’s Holiday from 1953 and immediately after saw the Bourne Supremacy (I know – it was a weird night). The 2 films couldn’t have contrasted more – Hulot was simple, quiet and allowed me to explore the nuances of the scenes. Bourne bombarded me with action, dialog, 10 cuts in 5 seconds. No chance to catch the nuance. All I could do was react and try to keep up. Hulot’s Holiday allowed me the space to create connections, imagine, anticipate and look (rather than watch). Bourne grabbed my attention but didn’t give me a minute to think.

All of us have days just like this. Monday all I could do was rush from one meeting and phone call to the next, attempting to answer email in between. I felt productive, but I barely had a moment to think, to see nuance nor reflect on possibilities. Tuesday I worked from home. One meeting, few distractions. My mind had a chance to wander. I thought about possibilities. I became inspired. I wrote plans and sketched out strategies. It was cool. I felt guilty. I didn’t check 10 things off my to do list.

I wonder, as we channel surf through life’s experiences pushing ourselves to become more efficient, effective, on the go and on top of it all, will letting our minds wander become just an occasional luxury and a guilty pleasure? Will we have enough opportunity to create, to act, or will we be conditioned to only react? I vote for guilty pleasures.

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