Breaking Free of Escapism
Meeting someone new is just a right-swipe away. There’s no need to go out to get your food with plenty of services delivering anything you could possibly want directly to your door. Achievement can be diluted to spending 15 minutes to an hour on trying to win a level of any given video game.
Dopamine hits are just a click away.
Now, make no mistake, this is not a knock against modern technology. I believe there has never been a better time in human existence to be alive.
This is a knock against escapism.
the tendency to seek distraction and relief from unpleasant realities, especially by seeking entertainment or engaging in fantasy.
I would dare to say that escapism can extend much further than just technology. It can be anything that prevents you from achieving any higher form of success. Alcohol, drugs, oversleeping, overeating. But technology is definitely the biggest form of this in children and young adults.
The biggest problem with escapism is it can imitate the feeling you get when you actually achieve something worthwhile, but in a much smaller dose.
That means it has a shorter lifetime, which also means that feeling will be sought out again, and again, and again. It becomes a true problem when it is used as a means of avoidance from our responsibilities. The combination of avoidance and repetition creates the addiction to escapism.
So how do we prevent that addiction?
Well the answer is discipline and self-awareness. Self-discipline is the key to real achievement. Self-awareness keeps yourself in alignment.
Creating designated time to pursue your goals and sticking to it is a far greater feeling than watching another YouTube video. Spending the time that you could have spent winning that video game on building a profitable business will have you happier and more successful in the long-term. Taking an hour to hit the gym will always be more rewarding than an extra hour in bed.
When you spend too much time doing something that can be considered unproductive in the long-term, are you able to stop and ask yourself why you’re spending so much time doing that? Is there something you are avoiding? Why are you avoiding it? What is the solution?
Discipline and self-awareness is freedom from escapism.