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  • Writer's pictureJack Winston

Lessons from Kung Fu Panda, Distance Makes the 💖 Grow Fonder, Ordinary Lives Don’t Exist


The Friday Focus is a weekly newsletter where we highlight:

  1. A piece of content we love so you don’t have to doomscroll to find something interesting

  2. A tip to help you reduce your screen time

  3. A quote that has us thinking

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Song We Love 🎤

Today is a Gift - Beowulf

Sometimes the simplest messages are the most powerful.

This song has had a huge influence on my life. Several years ago, when I was living a life that I felt trapped in, I found this song and began listening to it on repeat.

Featuring some great wisdom from the movie Kung Fu Panda with Jack Black (side note: has anyone noticed that children’s movies sometimes have the most profound insights), the songs explores something we’re all probably familiar with: worrying about the past and future, but not the present.

It was a great reminder that all we have in this world is right now. Most of us either spend all of our time either dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. But the only thing we have - the only thing that ever will be - is this moment you’re in right now.

And when you spend the present moment lost in your mind somewhere else, you lose the only thing you actually have.

I listened to this song every day to remind myself that in a sense, I can actually choose to be happy. All of my problems were in my head, created by my own thoughts.

But if I just took a moment to actually be present and focus on what was right in front of me, there’s no reason why I can’t enjoy this moment of existence any less than if my life situation was totally different.

It was a powerful lesson and one that opened up my mind to the amazing possibilities life had if I could just get out of my own way.

I loved this song so much that we named our company after it :)

Tip to Reduce Your Screen Time 📱

Find time to leave your phone at home

This tip might be the most anxiety-inducing tip yet. If you’re like me and millions of other people, you probably NEVER leave the house without your phone.

It’s the classic routine before you leave your home: Wallet - check. Keys - check. Phone - check.

Even with that routine, I’ve been locked out of my apartment countless times because I’ve forgotten my keys. But I have never once accidentally left my phone at home.

For a lot of people, the simple thought of leaving the house without their phone inspires fear and panic. Scientists even gave it a name - it’s called nomophobia, which I just found out stands for No Mobile Phone Phobia. Learn something new every day.

But I’m here to tell you there is nothing to fear.

My girlfriend and I just got back from a walk outside without our phones. Instead of looking at our phones every couple of minutes, we were able to take in our surroundings - the crisp autumn air, the changing of the leaves, and each other’s company.

When you don’t have your phone with you in the outside world you’re forced to actually experience life. You’ll notice things you’ve long taken for granted. Things that as a kid you probably thought were extremely fascinating, but now you hardly notice as you march through life.

I recommend you start small. I know it’s impractical to leave your phone at home for an entire day at a time.

But maybe try a short walk around your home, or the next time you go to the grocery store, or when you go out to dinner with a friend.

When you do this, you’ll begin to develop a renewed appreciation for the ordinary things in life, and your desire to constantly distract yourself with your phone will diminish.

As I’m writing this I’m reminded of a great quote from Rich Roll (who you should definitely check out if you haven’t) - “Your ordinary life is not separate from the extraordinary world”.

Sometimes in the shuffle of life, I think we can forget to slow down and take it all in. Leaving my phone at home has helped me remember that even the simple things have extraordinary wonder underneath - it’s worth not missing them.

Quote That Has Us Thinking 🧠

“Your ordinary life is not separate from the extraordinary world.” - Rich Roll


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