What Do You Want in Your Life?

I just got back from Calgary, Alberta, Canada where I attended an amazing event called Engage Today 2009. Speakers included the Dalai Lama, Sir Richard Branson, Stephen Covey, F.W. De Klerk (released Nelson Mandella from prison), Tony Hsieh (CEO of Zappos shoes), Barbara De Angelis, and a host of others that you may or may not recognize by name.

Each and every speaker was outstanding, bringing huge contributions to the event. I'm still reeling from the amount of information and energy that was condensed into four days.

What I came away with was that, for me, the internet age is overwhelming me. I have let technology become my master. And I am not alone in that. Even speakers at the event talked of how easy it was to get caught up in checking e-mail too often, or following links; basically getting distracted from the important parts of their work and their lives.

My love/hate relationship with computers and the internet and the unlimited amount of information available is evidenced by the amount of time I spend at my computer and the vast amount of information stored in it or printed from it. It feels suffocating, not empowering.

So I am un-subscribing from vast numbers of e-mail lists, looking at what I've printed that I've not read (and maybe never will) and deciding that I will gain control again over my life.

Obviously, I never would have known about this amazing conference had I not been "tuned-in" in some manner on the internet. But selectivity is my new mode of operation. I purposely didn't take or use a computer for the week I was in Calgary and my world didn't fall apart. I spent the hours that I would have been in front of my computer screen at home listening to and interacting with amazing people both on and off the stage.

So to answer my own question, "What Do You Want in Life?" I want to build connections with people, not add random people to my Facebook and Twitter accounts. I want in-person and telephone interactions; I want to "engage today" and every day, with meaningful real-life interactions.

The internet has its place in my life, but it is no longer going to hold me hostage in life. I have regained my footing and will work on balancing my love of information and the abundance of it that the internet provides with the abundance that is gotten from living in the moment with family, friends and fresh air!