I sat in my regular coffee shop booth, hammering away on the keyboard of a powerful computer.
It was then, he caught my eye.
Seated at a nearby table was a man with an open spiral notebook in front of him. No phone was visible. No computer, no laptop, no electronics at all. He simply scratched out his work with a regular graphite pencil.
The one thing I noticed the most was his focus. In his face, you could see focus, determination, and progress.
Then I returned to my work. As the click-click of the keys punctuated the air, I felt something. I wish I had his focus.
I had so much technical horsepower but lacked the laser attention of the man holding a humble pencil.
One of the problems with my Intel-fed beast at my fingertips was possibilities. It is not a positive possibility but a different kind. It was the tug of distraction. With a few keystrokes, I could dive out of the hard work of thinking into the mindless scrolling of Facebook posts, tweets, and Instagram photographs.
The power is in the computer, but the weakness is in the user. I want to focus and get distractions.
Perhaps the man in the corner with the #2 yellow relic and the steel-bound notebook has the answer. Reduce life not to what you could do but to what you want to do.
I should get a pencil and a notebook. Maybe I can do better work without the ability to do fancy work.