Why Rushed Kids Are Lonely And Stressed

Raising Daughters | Rushed Kids


In today’s fast-paced world, girls often find themselves caught up in a whirlwind of responsibilities, leaving little time for them to pause. Dr. Tim Jordan describes the many reasons why girls are so rushed and busy today, the costs to them, and how they and their families can take back control of their time and lives. Slow down, take a pause, and reflect on the insights of Dr. Jordan in this episode.

Links to related articles:

Article on why the modern world is bad for your brain.

Link to Dr. Jordan’s podcast interview with Laura Martin, author of the book, Uptime.

Listen to the podcast here


Why Rushed Kids Are Lonely And Stressed

As we get to this time of the year, everybody seems to be a little bit more busy than normal. I asked myself the question, “Why does everybody seem to be rushing around so much? Why do the girls who I work with in my counseling practice, my retreats, and my camps all seem so busy and rushed?” I read a great quote years ago from Mother Teresa. Mother Teresa said, “Everybody today seems to be in such a great rush, anxious for greater riches and anxious for greater developments and so on. Kids have very little time with their parents and parents have very little time with each other. In the home begins the disruption of the peace of the world.”

That’s so wise and also very timely. That quote is probably from 50 or 60 years ago. Think of what she would say now with this sped-up world if you will. I want to talk a little bit about why we are so rushed, why our children are so rushed, why we the adults and the parents so rushed, and why is our culture so busy and rushed.

Our culture, first and foremost, has accepted this belief that our lives should be busy and full. Not full like over full with work, activities, and enrichment of opportunities for our kids. We can’t have our kid on a baseball team in the summer who’s playing twelve games. They need to be on a traveling team or a club team that’s playing 60 games in the summer and is going out of town almost every weekend with the tournament. Busy, busy, busy.

As adults, we’re also taking our work home with us. It’s hard to get away from work now. It used to be much easier. You’d finish the work, close up the books, and get in the car. You’d drive home and you’d have to worry about things until the next morning. That’s not true today. Parents give up their vacation time. They’re doing work on vacations. We’re doing work on the weekends. We’re doing work, work, work. Our kids are doing activities, activities, activities.

In a sense, we’ve turned over our schedule and our time to other people, teachers, coaches, our bosses, the workforce, our relatives, and also shoulds. We should do this. We should do that. I also think, and I’ll talk about this in this episode, that one of the newest culprits has become our phones, our iPhones, and social media. That has added on a huge layer, but we were getting busier even before that stuff came along.

One of the driving narratives in our culture is we need to connect with more people. We need to have more information. We need to have this faster and faster with more and more intensity. More and faster has become what’s preferred. That’s what’s the norm. That didn’t use to be true either. It’s caused us as a culture to get information overload, experience overstimulation, and a perceived lack of control of our lives.

We feel like other people are in charge of us. Other people are in charge of our times and that’s not necessarily true unless you allow it. Busyness and stress have become communicable diseases. It’s like a badge of honor to be overly busy and to be stressed out with all the things we’re doing. We’ve become much more competitive than we used to be. We’re not normal anymore unless we’re stressed out.

If you don’t believe me, talk to your daughters. I work with girls, especially ones who are in high school. They’re so stressed out. Even if they’re not that stressed out, they feel stressed out. When they go to school, everybody is talking about how much homework they’ve done. “I’ve done four hours of homework. I did six. I was up till midnight. I was up till 3:00. I haven’t slept in three days.” It’s a competition to see who’s the busiest and who’s the most stressed.

All that has added to this sense of rush, more, and faster. Parents have also bought into some fears. They’re so afraid they’re going to get behind and not keep up. It’s about keeping up with the Jones’s children. I’ve mentioned that before in previous episodes. Not Keeping up with the Joneses, the neighbors next door who got a new car or a new washing machine or a new dishwasher. It’s about keeping up with the Jones’s children who are getting private lessons for a piano and who are getting a private semi-pro or a former professional athlete who’s going to teach them how to pitch.

They notice a kid across the street is going to three camps this summer or three sports camps and your kid’s only going to one. “My kid is going to get behind. He’s not going to be able to make the high school team. If he doesn’t make the high school team, how’s he going to get a college scholarship?” That engine starts to rev up more. We’ve raised the ante. It makes us all stressed and anxious. Because of that, parents tend to overdo, overschedule, micromanage, and over-supervise.

All that is contributing to this sense of rush that our kids are experiencing and also us as their parents. The kids are also being taught by us and the culture to be overly focused on external things like looking good, impressing other people, being the best, being number one, being rich, being famous, being the best on your team at school, being on the best club teams, being on the best travel teams, and going around the country to showcases.

“I’ve been looked at by eighteen colleges already. I’m only an 8th grader.” The relentless pressure to succeed, beat everybody else, be on the best teams, and not disappoint their parents. All that is contributing. I see so many girls in my counseling practice who are burned out from their activities, especially their sports. Twelve months of the year, grind. No time off. I’ll ask the girls, “How much time off do you get from your gymnastics? How much time off do you get off of your club volleyball?” They’ll say, “I get time off.” “When? How much?” “I get two weeks in the summer.” Two weeks is not enough, mentally, emotionally, or physically. The number of overused sports injuries has gone up because of that.

It’s also created in our kids and us this sense of never being enough, dissatisfaction, this relentless thing about never enough, more and more. I’m never good enough. Discontented is such an important word. It’s such a sad word that our kids are so discontented and dissatisfied.

It’s all because of all this competition rushing, That has also contributed to our sense of loneliness in our children, our families, and our culture. A lot of research shows that people are more lonely today than they have been in past times. There was a good documentary I saw years ago called The Race to Nowhere, talking about all these activities and things and where it is leading us are burn out kids.

Only about 2% of kids who are playing high school sports are going to be playing in college or getting a college scholarship. Everybody thinks their kids are going to get one, and so they grind, grind, grind. I’ve talked about this before. There’s this pressure also that our kids need to grow up fast. They need to have their life figured out early. They need to know what their major is going to be in college.

They need to know what their career is going to be and they’re talking about that at younger ages. I told you this before, there’s a brand new example weeks ago. My wife and I are working with a classroom of 5th-grade girls. These are girls who are probably ten years of age. When we asked them a question, we had this rope in the middle of the room and they were on one side. We were saying things like, “Cross the line if. Cross the line if you have an annoying sibling.” They always cross.

One of the last questions I asked was, “Cross the line if you ever worry about your future.” The girls rushed across. Every girl except for one. They didn’t just walk across. They rushed across with a look like, “Yes.” Already stressed about things like high school, college, their career, and what job they’re going to have. We’ve done a good job of pushing kids to feel that sense of growing up quickly and having their whole life figured out.

Our phones, our devices, our social media, and all that also have conditioned us that we should never be bored ever. If you’re bored, it’s so easy to pick up something and scroll our punch buttons, then all of a sudden, you’ve got a video game or one of those games on your phone or you can watch a YouTube video or TikTok videos. It’s so easy to scroll, punch a button, and then all of a sudden, we’re entertained again. We can quickly shift to the next stimulation.

Winston Churchill had a nice quote years ago. He said, “We shape our buildings, then our buildings shape us.” That’s true for technologies and social media as well. Every time we pick up one of those devices, we get a shot of dopamine to our reward center. That reward center doesn’t cause us to feel calm, peaceful, and contented. It causes us to want more. It’s a craving. It’s a desire, which is why it’s hard to put it down. It’s hard not to hear that ping and want to open up that phone.

It’s so hard because we’ve all become addicted to those devices. For good reason, the companies want us to be addicted. They want us to be on those things. We get those shots of dopamine and we crave and we seek. That connection becomes a craving and our brains are especially on the lookout for new things or novel things. We get more of a shot of dopamine when things are novel.

I saw some research that we check our phones about 150 times a day, but once every 6 to 12 minutes when we’re awake. I saw another study that said the average smartphone user burns through about 14,000 hours of screen time over ten years. Think back to that study we all talk about the 10,000-hour rule. If you want to be a master of your craft, you would put 10,000 hours of time into deep practice in that thing whether it’s drawing, art, soccer, or whatever. We are putting in 14,000 hours of time over ten years. We could be masters of some craft, as opposed to a master of nothing.

Another cost of all this rushing is a sense of disconnection. We’re much lonelier and feel more disconnected from people than we did in the past. The parts of our brain that allow us to process other people’s emotions and their intentions are stimulated by eye contact. It’s one of the main things that we’re missing out on when we’re talking to people on screens or we’re talking to people with our iPhone. Even if it’s FaceTime, it’s different. It’s not the same as being in person.

We miss tones of voice and body language. We also miss real eye contact. It’s the eye contest that makes us more socially aware. It deepens our conversations and our connections. I saw one study that showed that girls who spend more time online had a less strong ability to identify their own feelings and the feelings of other people. More complicated emotions like admiration and compassion take longer to process at a neural level. Things are happening too fast, scroll, call, this, and that, and multitasking. We lose out on that. We never fully experience the emotions of other people because we’re rushing through to the next call and the next novel stimulation, contributing to a sense of disconnection. Also, some more social anxiety, which a lot of young people say that they experience.

We’ve also been taught by the devices that if you get a ping, you’re supposed to respond to it immediately. That’s one of the unwritten rules as you respond to texts, calls, and emails quickly and immediately. Otherwise, the other person may think you’re mad at them. There are all kinds of miscommunications, but the expectation is our rushing feeling and being rushed.

I mentioned before too about the cost of losing our depth of conversation and connections. We had one of the prices or the things that people were bidding on at our yearly trivia night. We have a trivia night to raise money for scholarships for our summer camps and our weekend retreat so that girls who can’t afford it can come. It’s always been important. We start that at the second year of camps 32 years ago.

One of the prizes was you could get dinner at the Jordan’s house, Tim and Ann Jordan. We had a lot of camper parents there and their daughters would want to come to our house for dinner with Tim and Ann. Anyway, four girls came over. We were sitting around and talking. We were playing board games. It was fun. All of a sudden, one girl whips out her phone and within seconds there were four phones and four faces in four phones.

That’s all it took, one phone being out. All of a sudden, the connection was lost. That happens all the time. We need those pauses in the conversations when we’re sitting around chatting to think, reflect, mirror the other person, and empathize with the other person. Some of those girls whip those phones out and we lost all that. It also speeds up because someone will say, “Look at this picture.” They’re like, “Where is it?” All of a sudden, there’s this FOMO thing happening right in front of us.

It speeds up and causes a little bit of angst and anxiety, and thus they rev up. They weren’t as quiet, calm, and peaceful as they were when that phone was in their pocket. Another thing that I’ve noticed that’s contributing a lot to our sense of rush is multitasking. If you’re tuning in to this in front of your computer, you’ve got six screens open, and you’ve got three emails that have alerted you in your inbox on the top of your screen, and then your phone buzzes. All of a sudden, there’s this sense of anxiety that also gets revved up because we’re supposed to be attuned to all of those things at once.

You can’t not answer your phone because that dopamine craving thing comes on, but then you also have these six screens open. For people who have researched multitasking, there’s been a ton of research about how ineffective it is. We don’t do five things at once. We only do one thing at a time, but we think we’re doing five things. We’re going from one to the next in short bursts. Our full attention is never anywhere. The quality of our work goes down and it takes longer to do it. That’s been shown over and over again.

We don't do five things at once. We only do one thing at a time, but we think we're doing five things. We're going from one thing to the next in short bursts, so our full attention is never anywhere. Share on X

Also, when we’re multitasking, it is contributing to brain overload and information overload. There’s too much going on at once instead of focusing on one thing at a time. When we get into that brain overload and that brain overstimulation, that also causes us to start working faster. We get more anxious, more worked up, and more stressed.

When we’re multitasking, the stress hormones get released. When stress hormones get released, we’re more likely to feel anxious. When we’re more likely to feel anxious, we to start get more worked up and we start to want to go faster. That repeated task of switching back and forth raises our anxiety levels.

I found a study by a guy named Russ Poldtrack. He’s a Neuroscientist at Stanford University. He found that learning information when you’re multitasking causes the new information to go to the wrong part of the brain. If a student is studying and watching TV at the same time, for example. The information from their schoolwork goes into a part of the brain called the striatum. It’s a region that specializes in storing new procedures and skills, not facts and ideas. Without the distraction of a TV or your phone, the information goes into your hippocampus where it’s organized and categorized in a variety of ways, making it much easier to remember and retrieve.

Multitasking means it takes kids a lot longer to do their homework. It’s less efficient. The work is less good. That’s not very good English. Because it takes them longer, they’re up later. They’re more tired, which contributes to their stress. It means they’re not going to do as well the next day. They’re going to be less efficient. It’s going to have to be less efficient. It’s going to be longer and later. You can see how the rushing and the pace pick up.

I saw another interesting study. There was an article on why the modern world is bad for your brain. This author was saying that if you think back 30 or 40 years ago, a lot of the stuff that we do now was done by other people. For things like making airline reservations, you would call the company. They would say, “I need to go on this day,” and then they would do that for you. Train reservations. Reservations even for meals and things. Salespeople helped us to look for things in shops. We weren’t online looking at fifteen stores at once. We had someone saying, “Let me take you over here and show you.”

We had professional typists and secretaries who were helping with our correspondence. I even saw one study talking about how years ago, this is before emails, our mail came in the mailbox. Someone would write a letter, probably handwrite a letter, and put it in the envelope. When you’re handwriting a letter, it takes longer and you’re more thoughtful. We tend to put more into it than if we’re typing away and then passing it on to the next one.

We put it in an envelope and put it in the mailbox. You may not get it for 2 or 3 days. You didn’t expect a response right away because you didn’t know when the people were going to get it. Even the mail has sped us up because how many emails do you get a day? You’re expected to answer them now. Not in an hour, not tomorrow, but now. Again, more and more, rush, rush, rush. We’re doing the jobs of ten different people now instead of being able to farm those things out or having other people do those for us.

We’re also still trying to keep up with our lives, which we have become busier with the activities I talked about before. One other point about what’s making us maybe more rushed and busy these days, especially the rush part. I work with girls. I counsel girls. They ruminate a lot. They overthink and overanalyze. They’re in their heads a lot.

They will get a bad grade on a quiz. Instead of saying, “It’s just one quiz. I can make it up tomorrow.” They’ll say to themselves inside their heads, “I got a bad grade. Is that going to affect my GPA? What if my GPA goes down? If my GPA goes down, my whole cumulative GPA is going to go down. If that goes down, I want to get into a good college. They’re going to look at my grades. My grades aren’t going to be as good. My GPA is not going to be good enough. If I can’t get into a good college, I’m not going to be able to get a good job. If I can’t get a good job, I’m not going to be able to make enough money to afford an apartment.” They’re off and running in their heads.

They’re thinking faster than I’m even talking. That’s what rumination does. It speeds us up. We spend way too much time worrying about the future, creating these scenarios and these stories about some worst-case thing, getting anxious and worked up and it speeds us up. We feel more rushed if you will. People who struggle with racing thoughts are worrying about things that need to be done, things that haven’t been done, and what’s next on their plate. We spend so much time all over there and not enough time in the present moment where things can be a little slower down. What can we do? What can we do to slow ourselves down?

I saw a friend. I read a story years ago about this man who decided to go to Africa. He was a hunter. He hired this big team of Sherpas to help carry all of his stuff. The first three days, he did a forced march. He wanted to get to the site he wanted to get to in this hunting area. They marched every night. They would settle. They’d get to the camping place and everybody was exhausted. They marched and marched. After the third day of this on the fourth morning, the man got up and said, “Let’s go.” The Sherpas would not get up. They were exhausted. This man went to the head of the Sherpas and said, “What’s going on?” The head of the Sherpas said, “They can go no further until their souls have caught up with their bodies.”

I would like that for our children. I would like for their souls to be caught up with their bodies, minds, and social media with all the busyness that they’re doing. We need some gaps. We need times when they are unplugged, quiet, reflective time, downtime, time where they might, God forbid, be bored, and not be busy, and not have fourteen things going on. We need those times for their brains to rest. By the way, this is all true for us too, for adults as well.

We need unplugged gaps in their schedules where there are no devices on when they can do things like go outside, be out in nature, get more grounded, have time for more creativity, time for deep thinking, and time to play with ideas. Daydreaming is such a good thing that only happens with slow downtime. Our best ideas and our new creative ideas tend to come during those times. They don’t come when we’re trying hard and we got eighteen screens up.

Daydreaming is such a good thing. That only happens with slow-down time. Our new creative ideas tend to come during those times. Share on X

They come when we’re a little bit bored. They come when we’ve slowed ourselves down. You need to start creating some structured habits and rituals to sustain those kinds of times. Build them into your family. Talk to your kids about how can we have more downtime. What would it look like? It can look like things like unplugged time. The whole family could commit to things like, “We won’t have our phones on in the car, even Mom and Dad. We won’t be watching a screen in the car.”

God forbid in your ten-minute drive to school, you have to have a laptop or an iPad and watch cartoons or watch a movie. There are times like that when you can unplug and talk to each other. I remember dragging our kids to places before all this technology. We would sing nursery rhymes. Do things like that. We would chat, giggle, laugh, and talk about their days. That same structure could be put in place for every meal. No technologies on. No TV on. No phones at the table. The phones could be in another room.

Anytime you’re outside playing, no devices. You can create that structure so you can be more present and slow down if you will. I saw a girl a month or so ago, and she was all stressed out and busy. She was not going to bed on time. She was a senior in high school. She was going to bed at 12:00 or 12:30 but she couldn’t fall asleep for a few hours because she had the screens on before she tried to fall asleep, with the melatonin and all that.

Her work wasn’t of the same quality. One of the things that she committed to me to do for herself was that she was going to only do one thing at a time. In other words, she would not have a YouTube video on and the TV on. She wouldn’t even have her phone in the same room she was doing her homework. She would turn off all the apps that might come up on her screen while she was doing her homework.

She told me she had to take her phone and take it into the kitchen and put it on top of the refrigerator so she wouldn’t see it or hear it. I told her about the research that shows that whole dopamine loop, that craving loop. If something is in your sight like a piece of chocolate cake or your phone, it’s hard to resist because our brains are so used to getting that craving feeling. We want more. If it’s out of sight for at least ten minutes, the longer-term thinking part of our brain or the prefrontal cortex tends to kick in and that can override that old primitive system that says, “I want to.”

The prefrontal cortex longer-term thinking part of your brain says, “You don’t need that cake. I’m going to get more done with the phone in the other room, so I can get my calls later.” That takes over, which is why she put the phone in the kitchen on top of the refrigerator. When I saw her back a few weeks later, she was more rested and she was getting more done. She was much happier.

That’s so simple. Only do one thing at a time, take the phone out of the room so it’s not a distraction. I also think that we have to come to remind ourselves of a new belief system that says, “All this busyness, the distractions, the multitasking, the information overload and over-stimulation, distress, and all the devices things are not being imposed upon us. We are in charge. We have a choice. It doesn’t feel like it.” We can make excuses about all kinds of things, but the truth is we do have more choice than we’re giving ourselves credit for, so take charge. Take control back of your time.

I did an episode not that long ago, I interviewed Laura Martin, the author of the new book Uptime. She talked about ways you can organize yourself, your emails, and your day. Go back and review that episode and read her book. It’s a good book about how to prioritize if you will. It’s interesting that sometimes when we’re thinking about prioritizing and organizing, we think about to-do lists and checking things that we do, adding things to the list and checking them off.

Sometimes what we don’t have on that list, which maybe we could, is having a do-less important stuff list. What do I not want to do? We can feel more calm by subtracting. Not by adding. I have a to-do list. I check things off, and there’s a sense of completion and competence that comes with that. You don’t get that when you subtract because there’s nothing to check off. Subtraction can make us do fewer things. It can also cause us to feel more competent because we’re putting more time and energy into what’s important.

Subtraction can make us do fewer things. It can also cause us to feel more confident because we're putting more time and energy into what's important. Share on X

We have to realize that everything is not important. Everything is not urgent. In the Uptime book, that’s one of the things she talks about. Review that episode. You can decide what’s important. Everything is urgent. We make it seem like it is and that pushes us to rush, faster, and take charge. There was a woman, Elizabeth Dunn, who was a professor at the University of British Columbia. She did a study of 6,000 adults and found that people who spent money on time-saving devices or time-saving services like cleaning services, cooking services, and household maintenance, that those people were happier.

There was a correlation that was found between greater happiness and fewer to-dos. It might involve hiring people to do some house maintenance kinds of things and fixed kinds of things. People had to order your plane tickets for you. People do some billing kinds of things to rake the leaves in your yard or hire a high school kid down the street. When you save time like that and there’s less on your list, people slow down.

One of the things that also causes us to speed up and be more anxious is stress. That’s a whole episode in and of itself. I’m not going to go into that deeply, but you can start to incorporate some stress-reducing habits into your everyday life like meditation, doing yoga, taking walks outside, and exercising. There are so many de-stressing things. I’ve talked about it in a previous episode. If your stress level would go down and your stress hormone levels would go down, you would slow down. You’d be less anxious. You would ruminate less.

You can decide what's important. Everything isn't urgent. We make it seem like it is, and that pushes us to rush faster. Take charge. Share on X

All that would cause more of a feeling of calm and contentment. We could also learn to catch ourselves when we ruminate. I talked about those girls before. They can learn. I teach girls all the time in my retreats, camps, and counseling practice to catch themselves as early as they can in that rumination process. When they get a low grade on the quiz, they start to say, “What if my GPA goes down?” Say, “Slow down. I know what I’m doing. I’m starting to ruminate. I know if I don’t stop myself, myself all wrapped up and all wound up, and I’m going to be all anxious and all upset. I’m glad I’m catching myself.”

I teach girls to be very gentle with themselves and to say it’s okay. The first step in changing a habit is to be aware of it. They can start learning to do some things that will bring them out of that rumination process into something more calm and peaceful like bringing yourself to the present moment, doing some deep breathing, and focusing on one sense at a time. I’ve talked about that in previous episodes as well.


Raising Daughters | Rushed Kids


By catching the rumination and learning to switch it as fast as you can, it’s a great way to slow yourself down. Slow your brain down, which slows you down. I mentioned this before, but I’m going to highlight it. Times when you’re unplugged, times with no devices. I’ve mentioned this before in our weekend retreats that I have for girls in our summer camps at the check-in table, one of the questions we ask the girls is, “Where’s your phone or your Apple Watch?” Anything they can call out or connect with.

We ask them to hand it over to their parents. Some of the girls smile, “I need it for an alarm clock,” and we’re like, “I know. I get it. Please give it to your parents.” What the girls discover, even over a weekend retreat or a week of summer camp, is that they’re so much happier and so much more connected to the people at camp. We’re not distracted. We’re doing one thing at a time. Oftentimes, it’s being with people in the present and making eye contact.

All those things I talked about earlier. It’s so helpful and valuable for slowing us down. We walk everywhere at camp. It slows us down. After meals, we don’t rush off to the next activity. We have an hour of free time before the evening activity to hang out, sit and talk, or take walks. We’ll walk up to the sunflower field. Simple kinds of things that create a sense of peace and calm in us. We don’t do that enough, but you can.

You can talk to your kids and start creating those kinds of times with your family. Model this for your children. It’s one thing to tell them to unplug and another thing for us to do as well. We are just as guilty if not more than our kids when it comes to looking at messages, looking at our devices, and answering texts. Model it.

Also, look for other simple kinds of ways to slow down. I mentioned before about writing letters in the past. Doing things like writing cards to people, writing gratitude cards, or thank you cards. Look for things that you can start doing slower where it’s not such a sped-up thing that doesn’t involve a screen. Also, say no. A lot of girls I work with have a hard time setting boundaries. A lot of adults have a hard time setting boundaries. We let ourselves be ruled by shoulds, “I should do that extra thing. I should do this for somebody.”

All of a sudden, our calendar is booked up or overbooked up. Teaching girls it’s okay to be assertive. It’s okay to take care of yourselves. That’s not being aggressive and being mean. That’s what they think. It’s so amazing to me. When we do role plays, show us what it means to be assertive or what it means to be aggressive. They think the assertive actions are being mean. They need some education. They need some awareness.

Your family can make it like a family mission statement. Our family did that years ago. We used to have family meetings every Sunday evening. We decided as a family to spend 30-ish minutes. We do some acknowledgments. We talk about things on the front burner, things that we’re going to do, or anything that needs to be handled as a family. That was one of our rituals. It was fun. Sometimes it took more than 30 minutes, but it was okay because our kids loved it.

They got acknowledged. They got a chance to have a voice in our home on what was going on. We did some fun things at the end of it. It became one of our slow-down rituals but create your own. Whatever it might be. Let me finish up here with a couple of things. We rushed because we thought we were late. We rush because we want to move away quickly from feelings or discomfort.

We don’t want to feel uncertain, alone, or bored. We don’t like to feel those kinds of feelings of sadness or grief so we get busy. We pick up a device to distract ourselves and that revs us up. It’s contributing a lot to our feelings of being rushed. It’s easy to date to distract ourselves and stay busy with thoughts and feelings. We rush to come up with solutions to problems that would benefit from more sustained reflection and consideration.

We rush into obligations and decisions because we want things to be settled. We want it to happen now. We have a hard time saying no and letting our lives be ruled by shoulds. We rush to keep up with other people and to be better than other people. We rush because we’re spending so much time comparing ourselves to other people, letting that rule our day and not what’s good for us.

We rush because we’ve allowed ourselves to be addicted to those devices. They’re now in charge of our dopamine reward system. We rush because we’ve bought into the cultural imperative that more is better, faster is better, being busy is better, and multitasking is better. We need to undo that thinking. We need to take back control of our time, priorities, and our mental health. You can do that, but you need to be conscious, deliberate, and mindful.

Let me finish with some lyrics from one of my favorite Billy Joel songs, the famous philosopher Billy Joel. This is a song back in the ‘80s. It’s called Vienna. It goes like this, “Slow down, you crazy child. You’re so ambitious for a juvenile but then if you’re so smart, tell me why are you still so afraid? Where’s the fire? What’s the hurry about? You’d better cool it off before you burn it out. You got so much to do in only so many hours in a day. You know that when the truth is told that you get what you want or you can just get old. You’re going to kick off before you even get halfway through when you realize Vienna waits for you.”

“Slow down, you’re doing fine. You can’t be everything you want to be before your time. Although, it’s so romantic on the borderline tonight. Too bad with it’s the life you lead, you’re so ahead of yourself that you forgot what you need, but you can see when you’re wrong. You know you can’t always see when you’re right. You got your passion. You got your pride, but don’t you know that only fools are satisfied? Dream on, but don’t imagine they’ll all come true. When will you realize Vienna waits for you?”

“Slow down, you crazy child. Take the phone off the hook and disappear for a while. It’s all right. You can afford to lose a day or two when we realize Vienna waits for you. You know that when the truth is told that you can get what you want or you can just get old. You’re going to kick off before you even get halfway through. Why don’t you realize Vienna waits for you?” Go look for that song on Spotify or your iTunes. It’s called Vienna. What a way to end this episode. Thanks so much for stopping by. Slow yourselves down. Be mindful. Have a very contented and satisfied day.


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