Living without (part 1)

Post written by Orsolya Hernold

There was a great series on zenhabits.net last year about living without – internet, TV, phone, coffee, sugar, etc. I loved to read Leo’s experiences, how he coped and learned. It also made me reflect on my life: I do not have a TV for a decade, I only read news online, I had my own year of no-sugar and a Christmas holiday without chocolate (that was “The challenge” so far). At the same time, I love Facebook, I am very much fond of my new phone and addicted to drinking green tea, just to name a few of my comforting habits.

This morning my phone (2 months old) did not start – usually I wake up for its alarm and check emails immediately. Today, it was totally blank, no reaction whatsoever. I felt the tension building up in me, to-do-lists and meetings running in front of my eyes and the realization: it would need much more organization to get everything done as planned without my phone. I felt miserable, how can I cope? What will I do? Yes, my attachment, my dependence on my phone created a life that is much more complicated without it.

I have a counter trigger for tension building up in me: ok, I feel the tension, and then I start to ask questions, give my mind something else to occupy with (questions aiming at my most fundamental values in my life): do I want this frustration? Do I want it to have power over me? Do I entitle this tension to change my mood, my morning smile and hug my children deserve? My answer is a definite “no”, and by the time I run through my questions, I can master the tension and make a firm decision to counteract. I plan my day differently, I make a new to-do-list keeping in mind that I need to get some phone numbers from others and make sure I check the place I go because I will not have GPS handy.

I invite you to try to live without something for one day (or more, if you want) that is an integral part of your day. Anything from the above-mentioned items, habits, but feel free to choose something else, too.


Needs and dependence can be reasons for frustration and disappointment. Identifying the areas where you are dependent can put the control over that area of your life back into your hand. Because it belongs there. Observing yourself in a small game such as this one is a great self-teaching method: you can define your own, unique coping mechanism and utilize it later in real life situations.


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