How to Embrace Life in a Digital Age (without Losing Your Zen)

I simply cannot think about life in a digital age without coming back to one of my major ‘soapboxes’:

The digital world is not going anywhere. It is here to stay. As such, we need to freaking get used to it and EMBRACE it.

– Austin’s Personal Soapbox

One of my favorite things about this Epoch project is that I get to focus on the things that really drive me, while the rest of the team gets to focus on the things that really drive them. In the case of ‘life in a digital age’, there are potentially THOUSANDS of things we could talk about, but this issue is the one I keep feeling in my bones.

life in a digital age - Austin Fletcher quote

We Must Embrace this Coming Age

If you do a search for anything surrounding the idea of ‘digital age’ you will see just how big of a conversation the world is having about it right now. Most of us are using technology at this very moment that wasn’t even available 2 years ago. Children who are in elementary school right now will be graduating from high school into a world where more and more jobs will be performed by robots and artificial intelligence. Entire industries are clamoring to figure out just how far they can take the utilization of blockchain technology and automated systems. And the list goes on…

Technology is HERE.

It has effected EVERY aspect of our lives (and it will continue to do so).

It isn’t going away.

While these statements may seem obvious, in my experience I’ve found that most people are just passively ‘hoping’ that life will just go back to simpler days at some point. Everyone seems to acknowledge that technology has given us a mixed bag of amazing solutions to old problems and a confounding amount of new problems that we’ve never faced before, but very few of us have decided to intentionally sort through that bag and figure out what to do with the future that is being created before our very eyes.

Every member of the Epoch team has decided to embrace this reality, but if you’re like many people, you may not be so sure that this shift in humanity’s way of being is something that you WANT to embrace. To this end, I absolutely agree that this shift is a lot to handle and things have gotten a bit scary lately. I too find myself wishing for a simpler life now and again, but that’s just it… The world isn’t going to stop and wait for me to catch my breath.

An Analogy, If I May

While I could probably write a book about all of the ways I believe we should be embracing this coming age, I simply want to share an analogy with you that has become transformative in my life these last few years:

If living your life is like driving a car, I can imagine that you often feel like things are moving too fast, the road is bumpier than you would like, traffic is way too congested, and for some reason, the car never seems to stay on the path you want it to. To this end, might I make a suggestion? Namely…

Start driving your ‘car’ ON PURPOSE!

While this particular article is about ‘life in a digital age’, this analogy holds true for whatever context you are considering about your life. Start driving your life on purpose. Embrace the journey. Grab the wheel, lean forward, weave your way through traffic, stomp on the gas (or the break), push in the clutch, shift gears… and DRIVE!

Drive Your Life on Purpose

So many of us let our lives drive us instead of us driving our lives.

Do you want a mid-life crisis? ‘Cause this is how you get a mid-life crisis.

– Austin’s Smarmy Guarantee
Start driving your life on purpose | life in a digital age

What typically happens if you never learn how to drive your life on purpose? You wake up one day and realize that you fell asleep at the wheel of your own life, you have no clue how you got to where you’re at, and now you suddenly have a desire to become the person you wanted to be when you were 16. Yet, because you never learned how to drive your own life on purpose, you crash your car into the nearest thing that attracts you and BOOM! *dramatic exploding sounds*

This analogy is especially true of our interaction with technology. We are afraid of it. We ‘wish’ it would slow down. We use it without understanding it. We go to work day in and day out without considering what it’s going to do to our industry in 10 years. We let it take over our relationships, while simultaneously giving us more relationships than we can handle. We acknowledge its power, yet we actively ignore its side effects. We buy the new gadget that is supposed to make us more human and give us more time, only to find it sucks more life out of life and gives us more things to keep track of.

Does any of this sound familiar?

At this point, you may be thinking that I’m just another one of those ‘thinkers’ who likes to pontificate about the problems with technology and why we need to find ways to get rid of it in our lives, but this conclusion couldn’t be further from the truth. As the title of this blog suggests, I don’t believe we should shut out technology from our lives at all, I believe we should embrace it.

While there are obvious benefits to adopting practices that establish moderation in your relationship with technology, I believe the more sustainable path forward is to embrace what technology is doing and learn how to incorporate it into the more sacred areas of our lives. I believe humanity is right ‘on track’ in the ages of time, and thus, I want to help make technology a new part of the ‘normal’ human experience.

So, how does one ’embrace’ technology and make it a normal part of the human experience vs. simply ‘using’ technology and wishing things were simpler?

Intention.

That’s it.

Turn your intention towards becoming an expert at life itself (grab the wheel), and as you do that, simply include the effects and trajectory of technology in your field of vision. If you’re a parent, learn about what’s coming down the pipe that your children are not being trained for… and then train them. If you’re a working professional, study what changes are coming for your industry… and take classes on it before everyone else is ‘forced’ to learn about the new systems you helped create. If you’re a teacher or a spiritual seeker, start developing a virtual community… and learn how to make meaningful connections with people 1000 miles away.

Activating your intention to steer your life in the direction YOU want it to go is a massively HUGE subject, but is incredibly easy to do. The digital age is where humanity is going, and as for me and my life, I plan on grabbing the wheel and directing this journey as much as I can. The Epoch is just one of the ways in which I have chosen to do this, and I’m excited to see what else the future holds in store. Hopefully, after reading this article, you now feel a little bit more inspired to see things the same way.

How to Embrace Life in a Digital Age (without Losing Your Zen)
About the communicator

Austin

Austin is the Executive Director of Category Five Ministries and is the originator of New Age Christianity and Belief IQ. He is a Scorpio, who likes long walks on the beach and cuddling by the fire... oh, and he likes long theological discussions over a cigar and Bourbon. He loves to pontificate about almost any subject and is never afraid to believe stuff that goes against conventional wisdom (maybe to a fault). Time will tell, but he may just be the craziest teacher to grace the internet... ever!


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