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!

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Vivek Vaidya

I, Vivek Vaidya, pledge to be a catalyst for creating a thought forum for bright, intelligent and thinking people. Around us, there are several things that are not the way they should be. If you know how they should be and want to share it with the world, this is... Read more

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