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The first thing you should know about me is that I’m a self-diagnosed TV alcoholic. But to my credit, I took the first step and admitted I had a problem. I’ve known I have this problem for a while, and sometimes I’ve thought: TV can drain your soul if you let it.

But it’s true – I probably watch 3-5 hours of TV per day. That, of course, is on top of my full-time job, two kids, long commute, and all of the other stuff that comes along with living in the rat race.

Even with that, I have always made an effort to squeeze in time for television. Some would say TV is my hobby, others would say it’s my addiction.

That is until about 12 months ago when I decided to cancel cable, and dramatically cut my daily tv consumption. Since then, I have lived a richer and fuller life. Here’s what happened:

1.Rich in money

So this is the obvious one, you cancel service, you save money per month, this is true.

A year ago, I had internet through Comcast and TV service through DirecTV. So it was pretty easy for me to simply cancel DirecTV and remove those charges. And that is exactly what I did. I canceled DirecTV saved about $100 a month. So in the course of 12 months, I’ve saved about $1,200.

That is a lot of money to me, a ton really. And it’s not just $100 a month, it’s $100 times the rest of my life. So I’ll have more money and more time to spend it!

2.Rich in time

Finding more available time in my life was huge.

Here was my big shift – I saved time.

So much so, in the beginning, I didn’t know what to do with it all. But the fact that I had it available to do other things with was awesome.

I found I wasn’t rushing home to watch Scandal, or I wasn’t rewatching Breaking Bad, or doing a 3rd rewatching of Dexter, but rather considering my surrounds, and deciding: what else can I do with my time.

What made, this one of the biggest enrichments of my life was I was able to use that time for other things. To improve my health and my mind and my relationships.

3.Rich in mind

Because I had so much free time on my hands, I was able to think and do some of the existential things in my life. So I enjoyed more time alone, more reading, more time for thought, and more space for myself.

This led to less stress and a more relaxed me.

There was no longer the stress of missing a show, or finding time for each show, or staying up super-late, to wake up the next day exhausted…this was all gone.

Not trying to keep up was refreshing.

4.Rich in health

Because I was rich in time, this led me to be rich in body. I was able to devote some of my time to becoming more healthy, walking, running, triathlon, and more. In fact, some of my motivation for wanting to cut down on television was to become more healthy and with the time allotted for that, I was able to do so.

I will admit to cheating here just a little bit. Because I would allow myself to watch the iPad if I was on the treadmill. I thought that was okay.

5.Rich in friendship

Being rich in time allowed me to cultivate more friendships. Allow for more dinners, date nights with my wife, and connecting with others. We would more routinely have other families/friends over for dinner, and this was great stuff. And finding friendship and family more important than TV, for me, was very therapeutic.

This doesn’t mean I’m on Facebook more, oh no. I gave up Facebook two years ago. Watching everyone’s ‘highlight reel of life’ didn’t seem real to me. Plus, I’m the least interesting guy you’ll meet, so Facebook and I didn’t click.

But this did mean, I connect ‘in real life’ with those in my life that mean the most.

6.Rich in the Sack

That’s right you read it correctly. If you pay more attention to your wife, good things will happen, and good things have happened to me.

In large part what this means is that I’ve been more engaged in our relationship, more emotionally there for her, and more present for the kids. I wouldn’t say the amount of TV I watched was getting in the way before, but now that obstacle has been removed, life flows better.

7.Richer life

What does this all mean? Well, it means a richer life.

To have more time, more money, more energy, improved health, a better relationship with your wife and kids, this is living. What isn’t, is zoning out in front of the TV 3-5 hours per day.

That’s as much as 150 hours per month? What the hell!

As I now look back, I think “why was I wasting so much time.” I really don’t know, at the moment I enjoyed those shows, but now, I can’t imagine still being glued to them as closely as I was.

Don’t worry, I’m still human, I’ll still tune in next year to see how Game of Thrones ends, but I’ll forgo most of the rest.

So what do you think?  If you gave up cable, would you life be enhanced?  Leave me a comment below. 

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