A week ago, my cell phone died. No, it wasn’t just a battery in need of a charge. Deadly baby drool damaged the phone beyond rice’s magical repair powers. But, being without a phone has taught me a few things:
#1 I’m on my phone way too much. From before I get out of bed until I settle in at night, I am constantly checking email, Facebook, or something like “how to discipline my three year old.”
#2. After the first 24 hours, the only thing I really missed were talks with friends and family and wondering if I had gotten any important calls or emails i.e. jobs, grants. (We cancelled the cable and internet after our recent move, so I have no other access.)
#3. I am more creative than I realize. When I can’t google something, I remember to use my brain.
#4. I read a lot of articles online, but not many books.
#5. When you “unplug” you wish others would too. I wanted my husband to stop being on his phone because suddenly we weren’t both on our phones together! And I’m sure that it goes without saying that the time with my kids during the day was of much higher quality.
Going back to #4, I decided to read a book. We had a free day and reading seemed like the perfect way to spend it. I went to my bookshelf and picked up Dr. Ben Carson and Cecil Murphey’s Think Big: Unleashing Your Potential for Excellence. The book had been on my mind and every time I passed the bookshelf it seemed to call to me.
If you don’t know, Dr. Benjamin Carson is the former head of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins. He took on this role at the remarkable age of 33. This is even more significant when you understand that he was the absolute bottom of his class in 5th grade and his mother, a single-parent, had a 3rd grade education. He writes about how his mother, education, and God changed the course of their lives as well as the mentors and patients who inspired him along the way to “Think Big.”
From the book (pg 153):
I feel as though I was inspired from the first page. I had seen the Ben Carson movie with Cuba Gooding, Jr., but to hear more from the man who lived it was incredible. Dr. Carson points out that the brain is made up of billions of cells, all ready to be used! He believes that all of us have the ability to succeed in life. But, it is necessary that we focus on our talents and maximize our knowledge in order to develop them. Reading is paramount! There were so many times when I could anticipate what he was going to say and I just had to put the book down. I knew that his next statement was going to challenge me or allow pieces-wandering thoughts- to fall into place. It encouraged me to pick up old habits like frequenting the library or watching dance in slow motion to better understand how to teach the mechanics of certain movements. The book also contains a self assessment that I found very helpful. I even saw new possibilities for my career path.
Since my daughter no longer has access to cable, I decided to make sure that books are plentiful and available to her. The same day I began to read this book, I had also outlined a plan for a weekly visit to the library for her. I was assured when reading that Dr. Carson’s mother limited his television watching to two programs per week and required two books and one book report per week for her children. My daughter is a bit young for a book report, but I’m confident we’re on the right track!
Through his words, I really began to think big- not only for my children, but for myself. I know that the hours of my day will be much better spent as I turn away from distractions and focus on what really matters.
Today I picked up a new phone. It isn’t as fast or as fancy as others, but it handles what I’ve learned now is essential for me. I’m determined to maintain the lessons I learned in this week without a phone. And going back to point #3, I am more creative than I realize! I actually had time to play and imagine, think critically, which led to new ideas. I’m so excited to see what lies ahead.
If you’d like to read this book, follow the link to find it on Amazon. I am in no way compensated for this. I just wanted to share what I learned with you! The kindle edition is only $3.99!
I hope it is as insightful to you as it was for me!
Carson, Ben, and Cecil Murphey. Think Big: Unleashing Your Potential for Excellence. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Pub. House, 1992. Print.