Episode #308 — Our great friend, the writer Paul Angone, sees a cultural trend pulling so many of to the easy place of seeing what’s wrong with everything and everyone instead of trying to actually do something about the real problems in our world.
“I think for a lot of us, if we would just pull back the critique a little bit and ask ourselves, ‘What can I create to help alleviate this problem?’ Instead of just tearing everything down, something’s got to be built in its place. It’s hard to build a house with a wrecking ball! So I wish more of us were focused on – Okay. I do see a problem. What do I need to create? How do I alleviate this problem that I see – whether it’s in my office, my family, or the world? How do I become an answer instead of just another wrecking ball? I think we have enough wrecking balls right now.”
Paul has a huge heart for the unique challenges faced by twenty-somethings. And he sees in them the struggles faced by the first generation to grow up with social media as an everyday reality. How does something so groundbreaking in its ability to connect offer us so many opportunities to feel terrible about ourselves?
“I had a professor in college. He used to talk about what authenticity is, and he would talk about it being an inward and outward consistency. So what’s inward and what’s outward is consistent. I think we have to take it one step further now. Authenticity is an inward, outward, and online consistency.”
“So really, it’s trying to be the same person inwardly and outwardly to the people in your life, but also online. So you don’t feel like you’re playing some game or that you’re feeling like, well, I’m just a hypocrite. Because online I’m creating this reality, and in my real world I’m creating this reality and they’re not congruent. I think that’s when the confusion starts to come in. I think it’s always better if we can be authentic and congruent with our online self and our inward self. The more we’re doing that, I think the healthier we will be.”
And the truth of the matter is, there comes a time when we just need to put the phone down to stay sane.
“We’ve got to just cut the amount of time we’re scrolling. If you’re scrolling through, I ask people all the time, after 30 minutes of Instagram, do you ever leave that experience, put down your phone and think to yourself, ‘Wow, I feel so much better about my life!‘ I feel excited. I feel ready to tackle my day. I want to tackle some new projects, because I feel so enlivened. I don’t think any of us feel that way after 30 minutes of Instagram. So maybe cut it down to 2 minutes or 3 minutes. Catch yourself. Put your phone down, and then go do something!”
Paul Angone is a bestselling author, keynote speaker & organizational consultant. His brand newest is 25 Lies Twenty Somethings Need to Stop Believing: How to Get Unstuck and Own Your Defining Decade.On the Road with Paul Angone