Now more than ever, we are searching for ways to connect with the world while, at the same, time, disconnecting from our devices and constant connection with the world. It’s quite an oxymoronic dilemma. Evidence of this bipolar connection is the rise of personal measurement devices, such as FitBits, Garmin Vivos, and TomTom Runner Cardios, where people want to tune in to their every movement, and the increase of the 24/7 worker in the never-stopping workplace, where we constantly check in and never check out.
Although “Tune On, Tune In, Drop Out” was rooted in the ’60s counter culture and was influenced by the psychedelic drugs of the time, Tim Leary actually recited a deeper meaning in his 1983 autobiography Flashbacks:
“Turn on” meant go within to activate your neural and genetic equipment. Become sensitive to the many and various levels of consciousness and the specific triggers that engage them…. “Tune in” meant interact harmoniously with the world around you – externalize, materialize, express your new internal perspectives….. “Drop Out” meant self-reliance, a discovery of one’s singularity, a commitment to mobility, choice, and change. Unhappily my explanations of this sequence of personal development were often misinterpreted to mean “Get stoned and abandon all constructive activity”.
Leary’s words are even more true today, yet, as a culture, we fight the very simplicity of what Leary advocated. Today, more than ever, as we measure every step, stay connected 24/7 and bypass human interaction, it’s time to re-imagine Leary’s vision.
Let’s stop measuring and start enjoying. We can start by turning off the FitBits and leaving the cell phones at home. What if we had devices that measured our connections and not our distance/calories/biotics? Let’s make the purpose of taking a walk to simply be to take a walk. To connect. To Tune On to our connections. To Tune In to our thoughts. To Drop Out of our disconnection? It’s Tune On, Tune In, Drop Out 2.0 style.
Take a Walk
Research abounds on the benefits of walking and leaders around the world are stepping up as well. Just recently, the Surgeon General also advocated on the benefits of walking. Walking is so simple. We were born to walk. Walking doesn’t take any special equipment, special clothing, or special circumstances. It’s as simple as putting one foot in front of the other. When we walk, we connect to the area, to ourselves, and to the world.
Won’t you go take a walk today and Tune On, Tune In, Drop Out 2.0 style?