95. Stop reading the newspaper and tabloids.
I am going to apologize in advance to the feelings this may hurt or to any of those in the print media. (Understanding the success of this book may depend upon periodical reviews, I may be biting the hand that would inevitably feed me, but I am obligated to tell you the truth.) In my experience the people who need the most help are those who make a daily ritual of reading the newspaper or subscribing to tabloids. There, I said it; now let me do my best to explain why.
For starters, the first complaint I hear from many is the lack of time they have to do the things they know they need to do. These would include reading books, exercising, taking time for themselves, and working on their own lives. Those who engage in reading the daily paper take time from other aspects of their lives that could be used to reach goals and improve overall happiness. Many claim they are hindered by money. Regardless of how cheap they can make a subscription to a local or national paper, this cost could be applied to other areas of necessity.
There is the issue of bias. Most modern day publications are no longer objective, thereby leading to their inevitable failure. Understanding that there are two sides to every issue, if only one side is mostly represented, the other side will simply stop reading and stop buying. Many people have said to me, “How will I know what is going on?” I would say in my experience, if there is something I need to know, most people will be talking about it. Reminding myself of issues that everyone already knows exist does little to help the problem and improve my personal growth.
Also, if we are trying to become more green and reduce waste, does this form of information make any sense? Doesn’t it contradict this new paradigm shift? Most importantly, garbage in, garbage out; meaning, you ultimately choose what you decide to put in your head. Unless you are a stock broker, why would you ever read the business section? Leave that to an expert who does that for a living and give yourself the headspace to work on more important things, namely yourself.
There are only two ways I know of to make you feel better. You can work on yourself and do the best you can to improve your situation, or you can concentrate on the downfalls of others to keep yourself above them. This is the only thing I can think of that fuels the existence of tabloid media. Focusing on the flaws of others distracts us from our own shortcomings and provides us with an excuse in meeting our own hopes and dreams. Can you imagine the difference we could make by having positive books or messages at the checkout counter? Instead we are bombarded with who looks better in a particular dress or who has put on the most weight. What if we had fruit instead of candy at checkout?
Life is not only about identifying where you want to go and what you want to be. It is also about avoiding pitfalls along the way. Every time you go to the store, they have two huge landmines right in your way. It’s no wonder we are so distracted. This Tool is not about having your head in the sand, but understanding that what you may be reading has your entire MIND in quicksand. You now understand that you choose where you decide to step.