My clients laugh at me… a lot.
One of the many reasons they think I’m so hilarious (;)) is something that might make you gasp.
I don’t watch the news.
Some people think I prefer total ignorance. Some people think I’m just not smart enough to care.
You know what the truth is? I don’t have space for all the negativity that the news tries to instill upon us all day every day.
Seriously: When was the last time you heard a positive story on the news?
It doesn’t happen very often.
Now, I wasn’t always a news-avoider.
I used to listen to NPR on my way to work, trying to decipher the difference between the Shiites and the Sunnis, worrying about where my taxes were going and who I should be calling about it, and then staying up at night hoping that I didn’t succumb to the latest outbreak of animal-of-the-year flu.
My life was wrapped in worry and anxiety back then, every story fueling it to grow stronger.
As I began to change my life around, I started reading all I could about creating my ideal life. On my journey, I came across a book you may have heard of called The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss. He talks about a little something called the Low-Information Diet.
Ferriss suggests that you “cultivate selective ignorance,” and I think he says it perfectly when he explains:
“Just as modern man consumes both too many calories and calories of no nutritional vale, information workers eat data both in excess and from the wrong sources.”
My little swing on it is that all the crap they feed us tends to push us into a paralyzed state of fear. After all, what can we really do about most things happening on the news? The lack of ability to control the situation leaves us feeling helpless and anxious.
Now, I prefer to be in a productive, action-oriented state of being. I like to do things. I like to make things happen in my life. I don’t like to worry myself about things I can’t control and, therefore, do not like to seek out information about them.
It’s my choice not to watch the news, to put down certain books that depress me, and to avoid altogether the newfangled fad of shock value that is horror movies because I prefer not to actively bring negativity into my life.
It’s just like I don’t plan on striking up conversation with a bully anytime soon.
And I don’t ask the über-trainers at the gym what they think of my Yogurtland addiction.
I am not missing out on anything I want to be a part of. My friends and family let me know when something’s going on that will affect me directly, and if I care about it, I find out the information I need by looking to the sources I trust most. And then I’m done with it.
Here’s the thing:
When you’re thinking about all the bad things that could possibly happen to the world, how much can you really focus on increasing the positive in your life?
Not much. All that brain space is being taken up by the what-ifs, anger, and sadness that stories like the ones all over the news produce. This makes us primarily reactive instead of active, and then we get scared into non-action because we cannot control those things.
What I’m going to recommend today is that you take a step back from being overly involved in the news and all the things we can’t control.
You don’t need to know every single thing that’s going on in the world, and who’s to say that information on the news isn’t a little bit doctored anyways?
As Ferriss says, use the time you would spend reading the news online, in print, or watching it on the TV, and instead do something. Like, accomplish something.
Your life is here. Right now.
You can be making your story that one positive one that hits the news, making thousands of other people’s day a little bit better. But you’re not going to do it sitting there scared and helpless.
Get out there. Get sh** done.
I know this is a controversial topic, so let’s talk. I want to hear your side of the argument.
In the comments below, tell us:
Are you pro- or anti-Low-Information Diet and why?
Ooh, this’ll be a fun one. :) Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!