If you feed your mind poison, you'll eventually poison your mind.
Today, it's easy to feast of negative news, gruesome events and scare-talk. The commercial media has no incentive to be uplifting. Bad news draws headlines. Macabre coverage goes viral. Social media is much the same — other people's fears surround you like sharks, circling your psyche.
Think about the number of negative events we could obsess in, if we cared to: GM goes bankrupt, millions lose their homes and savings, record setting deficits, tragic deaths…etc. And then there is the economy, rife with layoffs, foreclosures and credit card defaults. We are so busy trying to survive the times, we don't feel like we have the time to read fluff or about the future. This is prescription for disaster. Not watching your mind diet is like not watching your food diet. Eventually, you'll get spiritually flabby and you just might go into personal growth-arrest. Think of the negative information as sugar, fat, carbs and chemicals. They all taste good, fill you up with stimulation. They also kill your point of view, and eventually your confidence.
Last week, I blogged about a confidence boosting reading plan, and now I'm going to expand on this even more. I believe that the key to having confidence, abundance and positive vibes is to feed your mind good stuff. If you balance your outlook with reality and hope, you'll rise above the times and emerge as a leader of people.
The proper diet:
It starts with being aware of what you are putting into your head each day. Write down everything you read next week: Newspapers, magazines, TV and radio. Take note of the the people you follow online (blogs, social stream, emails you read). Count the positive ones and the negative ones. Keep track of this and it will open your eyes. You'll often find that you are loading up on Chicken Little speak. The reason that self-monitoring is important is because it gives you a 3rd party perspective that will help you break free from your current habits. Many food diet coaches use this technique (food diaries) as the essential first step.
Next, manage your allocation of media consumption. Online guru Chris Brogan, for example, is a voracious reader of books — he likely reads them more than tweets or blog posts. It shows in his confidence and forward thinking. Books provide much deeper content than micro-publishing or weekly/daily pubs. Here's a good formula for information consumption:
* 20% current events (from even keel publications such as NYT, WSJ etc. NOT USA Today or screaming head cable TV or pulpit pounding radio).
* 50% Good Information (see below)
* 30% Social stream, work stream and misc. This includes your surfing, email inbox and conversations.
Now you've blocked out half your time to build your perspective, your mind and your arsenal of intelligence. What is good information? Four categories:
Go! (instruction, how-to)
How (information on how the world works, including history and bio)
Next (what will likely happen in the future from tech to social)
If you consume those four categories, you'll soon find that you are evenly informed. You are positive, but practical. You are in the moment, but future proof. You are out of the doomloop, but growing your personal resume each and every week. I've been on this plan for a decade, and it has changed my life in every way. I am supremely confident, even when the market tanks and the world is crying gloom-doom and destruction.
Final note about your social stream: Don't follow, friend or listen to people with a negative perspective. If they are hateful or lack confidence, they will eventually infect you with their mind-virus. You cannot resist their hate/fear/cynicim. Actively delete them from your life. Unfollow and unfriend them. Confront them. Cut them out of your lunch loop. Hopefully, they will get the message that there is a growing number of people that don't appreciate Chicken Littles or Towne Criers. Whatever you do, don't be passive about the people in your social stream — manicure it like a banzai tree. Or better yet, keep it clean like a nature lover. Some of you might have a polluted social stream filled with waste, poison and dredge. If you clean it out, you'll likely have a fountain of youth and positivity instead. Make your social stream affirming and you'll likely climb into a virtuous circle of practical-optimism, instead of the downward spiral of depressed thinking.