What leading executives need more than anything today is wisdom. And one of the things that makes it harder and harder to connect with our wisdom is our increasing dependence on technology. Our hyper-connectedness is the snake lurking in our digital Garden of Eden.
“People have a pathological relationship with their devices,” said Kelly McGonigal, a psychologist who studies the science of self-control at Stanford’s School of Medicine. “People feel not just addicted, but trapped.” We are finding it harder and harder to unplug and renew ourselves.
Professor Mark Williams summed up the damage we’re doing to ourselves: “What we know from the neuroscience – from looking at the brain scans of people that are always rushing around, who never taste their food, who are always going from one task to another without actually realising what they’re doing – is that the emotional part of the brain that drives people is on high alert all the time…
“So, when people think: ‘I’m rushing around to get things done,’ it’s almost like, biologically, they’re rushing around just as if they were escaping from a predator. That’s the part of the brain that’s active. But nobody can run fast enough to escape their own worries.”