Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Over-measured Life!

A few days back, someone gifted me a Fitbit. Without knowing much, I started using it. It was quite fascinating. It could measure everything I did – how many steps I took, what was my activity level per hour, how was my heart beating… Everything. I enjoyed watching how many calories I burnt, how well I slept and how my weight and BMI changed over a period of time. It was the best thing that could happen to me I thought. The app was very user friendly. I could even measure whether I had enough water and whether I ate healthy food. I started feeding all this information in the app voluntarily and enjoyed looking at the analytics. It was fun but not for too long.
Soon I realised that instead of me possessing Fitbit, Fitbit had possessed me. As soon as I opened my eyes, I would look at the app to measure how well I slept. Instead of drinking water when I am thirsty, I would wait for the app to prompt me. Instead of asking my body whether I had enough exercise, I started to look at my step count.
In short, I had lost connection with my body. I measured everything, felt nothing. I should drink water when I felt thirsty. I should stop exercise when I felt tired. Instead, I was over-relying on a measurement instrument.
This is no way to live, I thought. The device did inculcate good habits in me, it helped to attain my active life style but I was falling prey to over-measurement. This led me to be disconnected from my gut feeling and connection with inner self.
Thats when I remembered the fundamental principle that I learnt in Engineering. The principle said - the measurement device should not alter the original parameter you are trying to measure. In this case, the measurement instrument was completely changing my mindset. That definitely wasn’t the intent. I needed to make some change.
One day, I simply didn’t wear it back. Now I feel like a free bird. I am still as active as before, I still know how many calories I burnt and how well I sleep, but I don’t measure it, just feel it. I have just left my over-measured life behind and feel more connected to self. I feel more, measure less.
This newly acquired good habit has rubbed off on other aspects of life too. Now I have stopped counting how many likes I get for my Facebook post or how many comments I have received for my profile picture or how long a person has taken to read my Whatsapp message. Measuring such petty things made me feel unappreciated and unhappy. As soon as I stopped measuring them, I felt appreciated.
Since then I follow a simple rule to avoid over-measured life : Don’t measure anything, that your inner self can feel!