Are you not entertained?!
How much of your time is productive? Are you improving your life or the life of others during your 'downtime' or is it purely leisure time where nothing constructive is achieved?
This questions occurs to me frequently, particularly when I'm watching YouTube and reading articles. I have to sometimes stop myself and think 'is this video really adding value to my life or is it taking value away (by making me feel fearful, unhappy or angry).'
In ancient Egypt just prior to societal collapse the people had become lazy and indulgent, obsessed by their own narcissistic self image and relentlessly pursuing pleasure and entertainment. The line from the film Gladiator “Are you not entertained?” is a classic. It exposes the self indulgent masses for their ever increasing bloodthirsty obsession for 'entertainment'. The Gladiator, meanwhile, had to strive and continue to kill so that he could earn his freedom.
I see many parallels to today's society. We have become a world that obsesses over entertainment and the pursuit of pleasure in the form of drugs, alcohol, sex, television and video games. Experiencing pleasures of this type delivers only a short term high and more pleasure must be sought out the next time to get the same high. The more we entertain ourselves the more we must be entertained.
Entertainment 'v' work
Consider how you spend your free time. How much time are you indulging in pure entertainment such as drinking, eating unhealthy food, playing video games, watching TV or socialising just for the sake of it? How much time do you spend working out, setting up a business, maintaining a garden, socialising with positive, empowered people, learning something new or building your career?
If we use the pareto principle or the 80/20 rule we might aim to spend at least 80% of our free time on value added pursuits but also attempt to make the remaining 20% of relaxation time productive in some way. It's always possible to find some relaxing pursuit that also enables you to learn something or achieve something. Exercise can be relaxing but it also gets you fit. Watching educational documentaries can help to educate you. Eating healthily will improve your health. Socialising with empowering friends and reducing your time spent with disempowering people will help build your confidence.
Don't let entertainment take over your life
It's easy to become indulged in non-productive entertainment, particularly if you have a difficult job. It can seem relaxing to get home, pour yourself a large glass of wine and slump down in front of the TV for the rest of the evening, but this will not change your situation. Pushing yourself to adopt new habits, perhaps by going to the gym or an evening class, can also be relaxing, but also empowering.
Be entertained by your work
The ultimate goal that we all seek is to be entertained by our work. To find something that we love doing, but also that adds value to our lives and the lives of others. We should always be seeking opportunities that will allow ourselves to live and work the dream. I must have wasted years of my life working in uninspiring corporations when I could have been following my dreams. If you have a dream, give it a go and don't leave it too late. It might be difficult, but if it's rewarding you will overcome the difficulties.