During a recent vacation, I found myself watching the evening news. This might not seem unusual, but for me actually sitting and watching any television is a rare occurrence. Unless, of course, you include time spent with my children watching the Disney channel or Tree House TV.
Have you watched the news lately? I wouldn’t recommend it if you want to be successful and here’s why:
I found that they the experience was a non-stop serving of bad news. It seems to me that watching the news daily is setting the basis for developing severe anxiety or possibly even depression. If it isn’t shocking or causing for concern, then it doesn’t seem to make the evening news.
You’ve experienced the anxiety that the media causes when you hear others say things like “Did you see the storm that’s heading our way?” or “Did you hear about that robbery?”
After a couple of days of being served a steady diet of negativity, I realized that in order to stay optimistic (in a predominantly pessimistic world), news is something that must be managed – meaning it’s something that we must be selective about, managing the information that consumes our attention carefully.
Simply sitting and watching news on the television or listening to news on the radio is a one sided experience – you are being fed what the media wants to feed you, and they only serve out stories that create shock and despair.
[Tweet “We must tilt the optimistic scales in our favor.”]
What information are you exposing yourself too? I would presume you spend time thinking about the food that enters your mouth, but are you conscious of the information that is entering your head?
So, the next time you sit down to watch TV, consider what kind of information you want to consume, and then choose an experience or show that meets that need. If you want to laugh, watch a comedy show; If you want to learn then listen to an audiobook. Stay away from channels and experiences that don’t allow you full control over the information that you are exposed to.
There are only two ways to view the world around us. You can be pessimistic and live in a world of caution and concern or you can be optimistic about the opportunities and adventures that await. Pessimism evolves from listening to others whereas optimism requires constant diligence and creativity relative to the information we consume. Successful people follow the later path.
Question: How are you being selective about the information that enters your mind? How will you find opportunities to form and retain a more optimistic view?
© Shawn Casemore 2015. All rights reserved.