Monday, June 4, 2018

Book Nook: Living with the Monks - What Turning Off My Phone Taught Me about Happiness, Gratitude, and Focus

Most people wouldn't argue that it might be better to reduce screen time. But few people really quit technology. Entrepreneur, endurance athlete, and father of four Jesse Itzler did.

I had a chance to review his account of his self-imposed time-out: Living with the Monks. Jesse had previously written an account of his time training with "the toughest man on the planet" in Living with a Seal. This time, he's doing a different kind of training - cutting his dependence on his phone. He spends time with Russian Orthodox monks in the New Skete religious community, isolated in the mountains of upstate New York. It's not what he expects from what he's seen about monasteries on TVs. These monks are well-known German shepherd breeders and authors of popular dog-training books.

Jesse works to fit in with the monks, and struggles with his rationale for starting the adventure (as well as missing his family and phone). While it's a much more extreme way to do a digital detox than many of us could, it provides insights that help the reader reflect on their dependence on technolgy and how that affects their lives.

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