Thomas Friedman is a NYT columnist and author I enjoy. I have enjoyed many of his columns and books. He has written 7 and I have read 3 of his books, I am now reading a fourth, Thank You For Being Late: An optimist’s guide to thriving in the age of accelerations. So far I have read his, Hot Flat and Crowded: Why we need a green revolution and how it can renew America, The World is Flat: A brief history of the twenty-first century and That Used to Be Us: How America fell behind in the world it invented and how we can come back books. I recommend all of them.
Each time I read his books I get a fresh and helpful perspective because he gives a very comprehensive view of what is going on and also how we got there. I just started reading his new book and already have gained a few valuable perspectives. In the beginning he discusses how this book came about. The anecdote is about how he normally has breakfast meetings to make the best use of his time. On some occasions, however, who he is to meet is late. Upon reflection, he realized that when the other person(so) were late, it provided him with some unplanned extra time. He then realized this time was of profound benefit. It was of benefit to him because it was a pause.
To fully understand why he found the pause of benefit, he explains: When you pause a machine, it stops, that is a mechanistic outcome. However, when we pause, being organismic, we start. By start he explains when we pause we reflect, rethink, and reimagine what is possible as we reconnect to our deep beliefs (values). Pause enables us to reimagine a better path.
Although this seems counterintuitive, choosing to pause can benefit everyone and everything. A pause allows us to review, reflect and reimagine how to do it better. The go, go rush of today causes us to forget we should pause. A pause can help us discover how we can generate comprehensive benefits by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits.
This also relates to last Monday’s post (1/9/17), “Talk without your phone: Everything Benefits”. This post highlighted Simon Sinek’s discussion about phone use. Our phones cause us to never be disconnected and they don’t give us a chance to pause.
I also learned something else from Mr. Friedman, he explained columns, like this post, are not designed to just inform, they are designed to influence and provoke a reaction of more thought about the subject. Like a columnist, as Thomas Friedman explains, I am in the lighting and heating business. My posts are attempts to illuminate and inspire you. With the desire to make a positive impact on the world, I hope these last posts have inspired you to pause without your phone so you can reimagine and reinvent a better tomorrow so everyone and everything benefits.
I look forward to hearing about your successes — please share how you are able to pause and them improve.