The Screen that Separates
Picture a setting sun casting a warm, golden glow over a picturesque garden. A family gathers around the dinner table, setting aside their mobiles, eager to reconnect after a long day. Now, snap back to reality: that golden glow is instead the harsh backlight of a smartphone, and the family sits in silence, absorbed in their screens. What should have been a moment to reconnect becomes another hour spent apart, in the same room but miles away in spirit.
This is a story I hear all too often—leaders who have achieved immense success in their professional lives but find themselves on the brink of losing what matters most: their families. The culprit? A device that fits into the palm of their hand but wields the power to strain the bonds that should matter most.
The Tale of a High-Flying Executive: A Leader at the Crossroads
Let me tell you about a high-flying executive in a multinational corporation. At work, he's in control; his team respects him, and he's on a trajectory to become the next CEO. But when he walks through the door at home, it's a different world—one where his influence wanes and his relationships are as brittle as dry leaves.
The Vicious Cycle of Habits and the Harsh Reality of Screen Time
The executive knows something has to change, but the thought terrifies him. Can he afford to disconnect? What might he miss? The fear is paralysing. Habits, especially those ingrained over years, are incredibly hard to break.
The average adult spends over 3 hours per day on their smartphone. That's more than 45 days a year completely absorbed in the digital world. In terms of health, excessive screen time has been linked to sleep deprivation, increased stress, and even a higher risk of developing chronic conditions like heart disease.
When it comes to family life, the impact is equally alarming. A study found that 47% of parents felt that they were competing with technology for their children's attention. Moreover, excessive screen time for parents was correlated with a decrease in meaningful interactions with their children, which can have long-term consequences on the child's emotional and cognitive development.
The Ontological Approach: Changing Not Just What You Do, But How You're Being
That's where the power of a trained ontological coach comes in. As an ontological coach, I help people change not just what they do, but how they are being. It's not just about setting boundaries or being more disciplined, although those are important steps. It's about deeper, transformational change that affects every aspect of your life—how you show up in the world, how you interact with others, and how you engage with yourself.
Steps to Reclaim What Matters
Set Boundaries: Allocate specific times for checking your mobile and stick to them. Make it a rule to not check work emails or take work calls during family time, unless it's a genuine emergency.
Be Present: When you're with your family, be all there. Listen, engage, and show interest. Your presence means more than you know.
Communicate: Open up to your family about your struggles. Let them know that you're aware of the problem and are taking steps to fix it. You'll be surprised how much a little honesty can mend broken fences.
Seek Professional Help: If you're finding it tough, that's okay. An ontological coach can help you not just change what you're doing but also transform how you're being. Sometimes, having an external perspective can offer invaluable insights into your situation.
Choose Wisely: Every moment you spend glued to your mobile is a moment lost with your family. Make the choice that you won't regret.
The Choice is Yours
Our high-flying executive made a transformational choice. He realised that his mobile had become a crutch, an escape from the complexities of emotional engagement with his family. After working with an ontological coach, he's a different man. Sure, he's still aiming for that CEO position, but not at the expense of his home life. His children look up to him not just as a provider but as a father. And his relationship with his spouse? It's like they're dating all over again.
If this executive can do it, so can you. Let's not let the screen win. Let's choose the scene—the living, breathing, beautiful mess that is family. And in that choice, we find our way back to what truly matters.
So, what will you choose today?