Part 12: Your FUEL for Growth
In the previous installment, we reassessed and realigned our “reference group,” or the associations that can help or hurt us in achieving our goals.
Now we need to talk about the most powerful influence in your life: the information or input you feed your mind.
If we want to produce different results in life, we have to think differently, to nurture a different mindset. As Einstein said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”
If your thinking is stinking so will your results. What you think about, you create. This is why all the monumental classic personal-achievement books have focused on how you think: Think and Grow Rich, As a Man Thinketh, The Power of Positive Thinking, The Magic of Thinking Big, etc.
You are not what you think you are, but what you think… you are!
The most constant influence of conditioning that affects our lives, our results and our ability to achieve is the information we feed our mind.
Our minds operate as simply as a computer. 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.
This is why it is crucial that you are careful what you feed your mind.
Stand guard at the doorway of your mind. We are constantly surrounded with negative, fearful, worrisome and sensational news, and even entertainment. Every input matters. All input is processed and shapes your view of the world and yourself in it. Be vigilant about what you expose yourself to.
Here are four suggestions to get in control of the information you allow into your head:
1: Cut the Cord. The average estimated hours a person (12 years or older) will spend watching TV this year is 1,704 (4.7 per day). When you consider an average of eight hours of sleep per day, this means the average person spends almost 30 percent of their day watching TV. This is 32.9 hours per week, meaning more than one day every week is spent in front of the TV. If you calculate this over the course of a year, the average person spends 1,710 hours per year in front of a TV—the equivalent of more than two months out of every year. Wow! And people wonder why they can’t get ahead in life!
Personally, I don’t watch any broadcast TV. I don’t read any newspapers, and I don’t listen to news radio. Negative, sensationalistic, appalling news that has no contribution to my personal goals in life makes up about 99.99 percent of what’s out there. 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.
More info on the utter madness of the media, watch this video: HERE
2: Selective Listening. I set up RSS feeds to pull information specifically on what I need to stay 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 less 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 trash can looking for a crust of bread when I can have the bread I want delivered to my doorstep. I also don’t want to 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 a text update on every Wall Street Journal financial crisis. You don’t have to be informed of all the local news crime stats. Find 15 minutes a day to catch up on all the national and world news updates, whether through a favorite news aggregator online, newspaper or single radio program, but don’t overconsume.
4: Mind Your E2E Ratio. When I interviewed Brian Tracy he had a great equation I’d like to share with you. What is the primary difference between the 5 percent of people who are wealthy and those who are not? The 95 percent focus their attention and extra time on entertainment, while the wealthy 5 percent invest their extra time in 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.
Unsuccessful people think about what they don’t want most of the time. They talk about problems, listen to news and gossip, and spend their time blaming circumstances, situations and others.
Successful people think about what they want and how they will get it. They are intensely focused on their goals and the information needed to help obtain them.
Now, if you want to think differently, you have to constantly and continually feed your mind the thoughts, ideas and inspiration it needs to help you achieve your ambitious goals. Your mind needs a regular diet of nutrient-rich food—“bread for the head,” as Jim Rohn called it.
My car won’t move without two things: gasoline and an ever-present library of instructional CDs I listen to as I drive around. We average 12,000 miles a year; that’s 300 hours of feeding time. Brian Tracy taught me early in life to turn my car into a mobile classroom. He explained that if you listen to instructional CDs as you drive, each year is the equivalent of two semesters of an advanced degree in college. Think about it: In the time you spend driving, you could obtain a Ph.D. in leadership, sales success, wealth building, relationship excellence—whatever course (CD program) you sign up for. Combine this with a reading routine, and you can separate yourself from the herd of average—CD by CD, book by book!
Certainly, I recommend the CD that comes free inside every issue of SUCCESS magazine. Could I be the ambassador for SUCCESS and not passionately recommend you read it? Of course not! Additionally, we offer SUCCESS Book Summaries, which cull the best ideas from three of the top books in the area of accelerated personal achievement. Each edition is also delivered in audio format so you can listen to it in your car.
Since I have seen, heard or read almost everything and by everybody in the area of personal development, I am often asked who I personally recommend, what my all-time favorite programs are. To answer that question, we organized my four favorite programs into the Mentor Package.
These resources are a few of the many available to you. The key is to choose your input wisely. Maximize your time, education and, ultimately, your success, by feeding your brain the information it needs to help you achieve your goals.
Download and complete the FUEL SYSTEM Worksheets. (NOTE: Sent via the e-mail feed. If you are just registering now, it will go out again with the next feed. E-mail feeds typically go out in the evening following the published post.)
How are you going to limit the negative input you feed your mind? What are you going to do differently now to properly care and feed your mind? Tell us in the comments below.