The telephone is there for your convenience, not for the convenience of your callers. Yet, as soon as we hear the phone ring, we act as if we are firefighters rushing to a five – alarm fire. We run to pick it up as if our lives depended on the call being answered at once. I have seen people interrupt quiet family dinners, dedicated reading times and meditation periods to answer those seemingly urgent phone calls, many of which turn out to be ones that could have been taken later.
Voice mail, though not perfect, is in many ways one of the great blessings of the modern age. It frees you up to do the things you want by allowing you to answer calls when it suits you. You no longer need to be interrupted by the ringing phone and can spend your time on life’s more important pursuits.
The habit of picking up the phone every time it rings is a hard one to break, as I know from personal experience. It is so easy to run to it, simply because we want to know who is calling us.
Often, picking up the ringing phone is just another way to put off doing something you don’t really want to do. But once you get good at letting it ring and staying focused on the activity at hand, whether it is reading a good book, having a heart – to – heart conversation with your life partner or frolicking with your kids, you will wonder what the hurry to pick up the phone was all about in the first place.
Excerpt from Who Will Cry When You Die by Robin Sharma, www.robinsharma.com