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In the Spring of 2017, I had a disturbing realization. For the better half of the past decade, I had far way much of my time staring at my phone. I convinced myself that it kept me connected and informed. But the truth was, it was disconnecting me; from my family, from my friends, from my place in the real world. And, worst of all, I was setting a horrible example for my kids Orion and GG (almost 9 & 7 at the time).


I desperately needed a digital detox. So, I turned off my phone. The effects were immediate. I felt connected and alive. I felt so good that I wanted to try to inspire other people to stop staring into their phones, like I had been doing, and get out in the world living and connecting.


My idea needed a name; something to shout out, like a mantra. I liked the sound of “log off”. But I wanted it to be abstract, intriguing and hopefully memorable. 


‘Laug Auf’ popped into my mind, so I jotted it down. In a stroke of synchronicity,  “laug”, in Estonian, is “eyelids” and “auf”, in German, is “open”. Together, they’re “eyes open”.


Laug Auf encourages my family and our friends to manage our ‘device time', limit our digital distractions and be present with one another. 


But, most importantly, it reminds us to live with our “eyes open”. And particularly, our mind’s eye. The one that we use to create our own, unique “realities”, visualize our future and turn our Life On.


As Dr. Howard Thurman said, “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask [yourself] what makes you come alive and go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”



(Laug Auf. Life On.),

Axel "Akke" Yberg

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