It’s literally the stuff of my nightmares…
Fast forward. Day 1 in Cuba. Murray and I try to get online, but can’t. The connection is so bad we can’t even check email.
A momentary feeling of panic rises.
We could have done what we usually do: move heaven and earth to figure it out and get online, but instead, we decide to try an interesting (and, for us, scary) experiment…
We decide to just close our laptops, forget about what might or might not be happening in our business, and just enjoy ourselves… (I know, shocking!!)
That’s why what happened next kind of surprised me…
Well, while on one level, I felt a deeper sense of peace and relaxation than I had for a long time, my real takeaway was something else…
I realized what a lifeline the Internet is.
I realized how often I complain about my “always on” lifestyle and how I — in some ways — blame it for some things that I’d like to change in my life — a sense of isolation, a lack of community, a feeling of near-constant overwhelm.
But being in Cuba for a week has reframed a lot for me.
Roaming through the streets of Havana, it’s easy to imagine you’re in some sort of post-apocalyptic movie: Buildings crumbling into decay. People begging on the street for soap because they have to choose between feeding their families and buying toiletries to keep themselves clean.
They don’t have the freedom of choice the rest of the world has about who they want to be and what they want to do.
They don’t have the ability to access the world’s information and learn from history’s greatest teachers with the touch of a finger.
They don’t have the luxury of growing bored with the latest viral videos going around.
For now, the embargo is still keeping Cuba blocked from plugging into the internet cables that crisscross the globe, so the limited internet access they do have is coming through satellite. There isn’t enough bandwidth to wire the streets and cities… so access is sparse, slow and spotty.
But “those in the know” (and with the means) come out at night with their smartphones and crowd on corners outside of hotels with open internet access.
Each evening, you see a wall of people sitting on the curb in a few hot spots around the city plugging into an excruciatingly slow connection for a glimpse into the rest of the world. A glimpse into new opportunities. News. Entertainment. You name it.
The vast majority of the Cuban population, however, live life without internet and all the opportunities it brings.
So, my takeaway from our 7-Day Internet Cleanse?
A renewed sense of gratitude for:
– being born in this time and place of incredible opportunity
– a time when I’m free to send my message around the globe with a push of the button and literally change the world from my living room, and
– to do exactly what I was born to do and see the results of my work and the impact I’m having… every single day.
So the next time I find myself feeling isolated, or bored from having too much choice, or overwhelmed by too much, or just taking what I have for granted, I’m going to instead count my blessings and be grateful for the life I’ve been able to create by plugging in to the internet… and being free to use this technology to connect with people around the world — with you.
Thanks for reading… what are you grateful for in your business?