Workaholics Anonymous—A 12-Step Program of Recovery and Personal Transformation (Step 4)
The purpose of this series is to awaken ourselves to the potentially harmful behavior patterns modern society has inflicted upon our psyche and ultimately our lifestyle. Many of these new patterns potentially derail us from the ambitions and achievements we desire. In the next two posts I will discuss the two most powerful influences that affect our life and our ability to be productive.
Influence No. 1: Information Is Powerful
The most constant influence of conditioning is the information we feed our mind. Our minds operate as simply as a computer does. Computers are complex systems, but how they work is rather simple. What you input is what it outputs. It doesn’t judge or discriminate; it simply acts on the input. That is also how your mind works; it does not judge or discriminate the information you feed it; it simply acts on the input. I am sure you have heard the axiom garbage in, garbage out. This is true for computer programming and for the information you allow to program your mind.
Here is how the Creation Process works:
INPUT > THINK > EXPECT > CREATE > LIFE
You get in LIFE what you CREATE. That is easy enough to understand. We are creative and productive beings and our life is the result of all we have created. You CREATE what you EXPECT. Expectation manifests creation. What you expect to happen is what your creative capacity goes to work on producing. You EXPECT what you think about. What determines what you think about, then? The input you get. This is how the old adage is made true: What you focus on expands. Whatever you give attention to, whatever you allow to be put into your mind, is what puts this entire creative process in motion.
Watch this video to learn the specific methods the media uses to influence (manipulate) your mind.
This is why it is crucial that you be careful what you put in your mind. This is also why this is one of the greatest challenges of our times. Today we are bombarded with inputs of information and voices competing for our attention. Radio, TV, newspapers, blogs, RSS feeds, text alerts, tweets, billboards, e-mails, newsletters, etc. This is an especially difficult challenge for the addicted overachiever. We don’t want to miss anything; we don’t want to get left behind. The truth is that 98-99% of what we give our precious attention to is unnecessary for supporting our top priorities, and in many cases is distracting if not damaging.
Here are four suggestions to get in control of the information you allow into your head:
1: Cut the Cord. Personally, I don’t watch any broadcast TV. I don’t read any newspapers and don’t listen to news radio. 99.99% of all news is negative, sensational and appalling and has no contribution to my personal goals in life. I can tell you this practice has not limited my intellectual capacity, my social banter or my financial opportunities. In fact, it has benefited me immensely in all those areas. If you don’t have the stomach for the kind of cold-turkey cord-cutting, consider the next suggestion.
2: Selective Listening. I set up RSS feeds to pull information on specifically what I do need to stay up on my productive purpose. I register for newsletters or blog updates on topics and subjects that are relevant to my objective. Once they become unproductive I unsubscribe. Does this make you not well-rounded? There is no such thing. We are always scanning the world for what is relevant to us. I just don’t think it is necessary to pick through the trashcan looking for a crust of bread when I can have the bread I want delivered to my doorstep. I also don’t get the trash on me… or in my head.
3: Low Information Diet. If you aren’t comfortable getting only the most productive and relevant information you need to be more successful, then at least put yourself on a low-information diet. Limit your intake of news and information. You don’t need to be tied into every Wall Street Journal financial crisis text update. You don’t have to be up on all the local news crime stats. Find 15 minutes a day to catch up with all the national and world news updates—whether through a favorite news aggregator online, newspaper or single radio program—then don’t over consume.
4: Mind Your E2E Ratio. I interviewed Brian Tracy last week and he had a great equation I’d like to share with you. What is the primary difference between the 5% who are wealthy and those who are not? The 95% focus their attention and extra time on entertainment while the 5% look to spend their extra time on education. Evaluate yourself: How much time do you spend on entertainment and how much on education? The imbalance of this equation could be the reason your life isn’t where you want it to be.
This is where resources like SUCCESS magazine and the other resources available in our SUCCESS Resource Library can help you rebalance this equation. Instead of listening to music or the radio while driving, turn your car into a mobile university with success CDs. Instead of watching TV every night, read SUCCESS, insightful books or watch the SUCCESS Symposium DVDs a night or two a week. Have today’s greatest thought leaders and success MP3’s downloaded on your iPod while you exercise or commute.
Join the 5% and seek the education, inspiration and information that will feed your mind and incite your creative potential.
It is my goal that this blog be a nourishing meal of good ideas, insights and inspiration delivered to your e-mail doorstep every week. If you are not already subscribed to receive updates, I invite you to do so in the input box in the right corner.
Next week we will discuss an even more subtle but even more damaging influence that could be continually leading you astray from your productive potential.
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