Our nation is facing many health epidemics, including a rise in the number of people who suffer from obesity, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, to name a few. The culprit: poor diet, lack of exercise, and inability to understand the key ingredients to proper nutrition. I believe that our nation is also facing an information epidemic, causing an increase in the number of people who suffer from negative thoughts/beliefs, fear, low self-esteem, poor concentration, and lack of creativity, amongst other things. We are constantly bombarded with information, both on the conscious and subconscious levels. Just for one day, try to notice all of the headlines, commercials, news programs, radio shows, emails, online ads, magazines & newspapers, junk mail, etc. that you are exposed to. It is staggering how much information is out there and how much of it comes into your consciousness and pollutes your mind every day. What if you were to shut some of that information out? It probably isn’t possible to shut all of it out, unless maybe you live in an igloo in Antarctica, but there are some things you absolutely have control over. One great example is the news. Many people fret when I bring up the suggestion to quit watching the news and/or reading the newspaper. However, what I have found is that in the last couple of years since I stopped doing so, I have remained every bit as informed as the next person about what’s going on around the nation and around the world. Remember, there is a constant influx of information that you are exposed to every day. You will hear about the important issues, either from friends or family, on your internet homepage, from people posting things on social media sites, on the magazines/newspapers that surround you at the grocery store checkout, etc. If you really need to know something, it is such a quick and easy process to search for it online!

So what am I suggesting? I am suggesting that you go on an information diet (although I hate the word diet)! This is about making some lifestyle changes. Start with cutting out the news and newspapers. Then cut out the radio (you can still hear music using your MP3 player, CD’s that you burn yourself, satelite radio or even on internet music sites that have very limited interruptions). Get rid of junk mail immediately and even return it to the sender! Then go through your email and unsubscribe to as many things as possible. Really streamline the sources of your information and weed out anything that is not necessary right now and anything that is not motivating or that doesn’t help you to develop either yourself or a new skill.

What are some things that you can do instead of watch the news, read the newspaper, or listen to the radio? Invest in some books or get a library card and actually read the books each day when you would have been watching the news. Download some audiobooks or podcasts onto your MP3 player and listen to them in your car (my favorite is Morning Coach.com). Learn to meditate! You can get DVD’s, CD’s, books, podcasts, etc. on how to meditate and they are usually broken down by subject (but please don’t do this in your car! =) Go out and meet people (there really are actual people out there beyond your front door) by getting involved in a group or cause (try looking at MeetUp.com for some ideas). Work on generating some new ideas, whether for your business, family, or hobbies. These are just a few ideas that are an excellent way to start getting out of the minutia. You will find that by consciously choosing your sources of information, you will gain insight, clarity, creativity, and be laser focused on what you really want out of life.

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