Can distracted dreamers get more done?

October 16, 2023

What is mastering you?

I was recently invited to give a brief talk on a men’s weekend based on a theme from Bible verse 2 Peter 2 v 19,

“They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.”

The question we asked the men was, what has mastered you? What are you a slave to?

I was one of 8 speakers, each of us discussing areas where we had been mastered. No one story was spotlighted, but as a collection, they allowed the keynote speaker to drive the stake home into the heart of the issue. Something masters all men, whether work, alcohol or lusts…. If you can imagine it, we can be a prisoner to it.

An information junkie

My talk was about digital addiction and being ‘mastered by the algorithm’.

I’m curious by nature, and I have an insatiable appetite for knowledge, especially in dealing with life issues and worldview. If the guard rails are not in place, I drown myself in facts and information.

After the weekend was over, I had a long drive home, and I took time to reflect upon my digital gulag? Part of it is personality driven, but why does it get so out of control?

Ask a good question and often the answer comes quickly. In this case, from a subscription email from Michael Foster and Bnonn Tennant.

"The anxious mind thinks, “more information will make me more in control, and therefore bring me peace.”


The anxious mind is often anxious because it has too much to keep track of. Adding more information makes it more anxious, not less.

We know men—talented and gifted men—who could have been truly great, were they willing to discipline their emotions and insecurities.

Talent isn’t the x-factor.

Self-discipline is."

Being curious and focusing on self-development is positive, but using knowledge as a way to deal with anxiety can be harmful. Instead of gently scratching the itch, you end up overdoing it, destroying the protective surface. Infection then sets in.

The world is an arena of both ideas and action, but we shouldn’t camp in one area to the detriment of the other

We are not just mind and spirit

That we have physical bodies is not an accident. We were created to operate in a physical universe. The world is an arena of both ideas and action, but we shouldn’t camp in one area to the detriment of the other. I’m guilty of being a man of 80% ideas and 20% action - improvement is happening but more is required.

I now believe I must break my “personal time” into 2 parts. Early morning for thinking and evening time for action. I’m not currently executing this perfectly;

In the last 6 weeks I have been going to bed earlier and rising earlier. (In bed by 2200hrs and up by 0615hrs). After a quick protein and fat breakfast, I write, study and plan. This has been going really well.

My failure, though, has been getting into action in the evening. Yes, I have cut out TV and mindless phone usage, but I’m still too much in my head, meandering through the house, not tackling much at all.

The battle has only been half won. I have reduced digital’s mastery over me but I must reinvest the time into more profitable endeavours.

How can I translate the early morning thoughts into action?

I have some ideas on this..........

Main photo found on Flickr at this link CC BY-SA 2.0 Deed - Creative Commons - share alike attribution