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By Rodrigo Bena, Mar 10 2018 12:23AM

It takes practice, time, courage and awareness - but I managed to be offline, 100% in the present.

My wife and I went to see the band MarchFourth on Saturday at the Crystal Ballroom, in Portland, to celebrate her birthday. In a conscious effort, we left our cell phones in the car and freed ourselves to watch the show only with our own eyes, without a camera lens.

As a former photojournalist, it was interesting to not to think about the event as a way to show people what they missed. But guess what? They missed - and it is ok. As we are living in a world where you can see almost every single thing that happened, is happening or will happen, we suffer from FOMO (Fear of missing out) more than ever.

The truth is that by checking everything online WE ARE MISSING the most important thing we have: OUR LIVES.

After working as a life coach and studying happiness for the last 13 years, I observed that the amount of time we spend online is often the opposite reflection of how happy we are in life.

I explain. The times in my life I wasn't feeling 100% was the time I used social media the most. The opposite is also true: the times in my life I am feeling good, connecting with friends and family, satisfied with my relationships and work, was when I least spent time online. When I realized it I started observing people around me and often it was true for them.

So as I am feeling great these days, and I am rarely posting personal things online, I decided to only to it intentionally. I am doing a media fasting, not consuming anything electronic 5 or 6 days a week, then only consuming inspiring and good news on the days or two remaining.

This post it is an example of it. I enjoyed spending time with my community this whole weekend, visiting friends, going to events, spending the night in a country hotel to celebrate my wife's birthday, soaking in a beautiful outdoor relaxing pool - all as offline as possible (only using the computer once to invite people to an event).

And do you know what? Being offline is great! It's like...LIVING LIFE!! Try it!

(btw, I didn't take this photo, I just got one online as many people have taken photos without fully enjoying the show)

By Rodrigo Bena, Mar 10 2018 12:05AM

One of the mistakes mankind keeps making century after century, according to the Roman philosopher Marcus Tullius Cicero, is believing that personal gain is made by crushing others.

The hardest part is to see people around you with that mentality. The idea of competing at any cost instead of collaborating is still very prevalent in the western world. I have only compassion for these people, who are truly suffering in what they believe to be a "dog-eat-dog" world.

In my personal journey, I came across some people like that. They haven't understood yet that Darwin's Theory of Evolution is not only about the strongest always winning. Not many people know but the second and biggest part of the theory was that nature collaborates more than compete.

We usually hear that strongest of the species that survives. The phrase is actually not from Darwin. Supposedly from Origin of Species, this one is all over the web (and even on a stone floor) but is from a management studies text. (from…/six-things-darwin-never-s…)

Darwin's biggest legacy was maybe the observation of cooperation and collaboration in nature - and humankind.

Being raised in a big family, surrounded by cousins and friends all the time, made me (and for sure other who I connected) more collaborative. I learned at an early age to share toys, play together, borrow and lend things and thoughts. It gave me a sense of community.

It wasn't until I moved from Brazil that I realized that not everybody learned the same thing. Maybe it was a "Brazilian thing", something from our culture, but no. Unfortunately, I met Brazilians and people from different cultures competing and crushing others for their personal gains.

I want to believe that they are the minority, but media keep telling us that people are naturally like that.

Again, I send my compassion to them and refuse the idea. For me, they are just not awakened yet.

The secret is to keep doing good, despite what other people are doing. Eventually, they will learn and hopefully change their way of being. I look forward to collaborating with you.

"It's crazy to think my blog is being read by people around the world." Ella Woodward