Factor #3: What we let into our mind: what we watch & read.

In his book The monk who sold his Ferrari, Robin S. Sharma makes an analogy of the human mind as if it was a garden that needs special care, that needs to be sown, watered and cleaned so it stays productive and in great shape, and he then explains how each of us needs to act as a soldier who is standing guard a the entrance our garden, so nothing and nobody enters it and pollutes it.
And I can’t think of a better comparison to talk about the third determining factor on how we live our lives: what we let get inside our mind, what we watch and what we read.

Definitely whatever we let into our mind, if we are selective and careful, can provide it with knowledge, energy, happiness and positive thoughts, or if we are not, can fill it with fear, decontrolling images, confusing ideas and stress.

How familiar is this situation to you? It is the end of day, its 9:00 pm and everybody at home went to their rooms to rest, your get to bed or sit on your favorite couch, you turn on the TV and tune in the first TV series that’s showing: a crude and violent, crime filled series where even the director gets shot. I think there’s even one promotional spot that actually says something like “now with more violence and kidnapings…”, Can you believe it?
But it doesn’t stops there, after the show finishes you tune in the late night news and spend the next hour watching all the tragedies, lies, frauds, crises and crimes that happened during the day. And right after that you want to go to sleep. Is it really surprising that after all the GARBAGE you let into your mind, you cannot go to sleep and have nightmares?

Let me share a couple of tips to improve the quality of what you let get inside your head:
1- Stop watching news every night! oh but what is this guy saying! I need to stay well informed every day!” you might be thinking right now. But I couldn’t be anymore serious. Try this for a week: Next Monday watch the news and try to remember what important notes you saw, then do not watch or listen to any news show until the following Monday, I’m sure you will notice that you are listening pretty much to the same information you heard a week ago. And relax, if you are really worried that you might miss very important news, you’ll see you’ll find out anyway. And in case you cannot live without news, then use technology in your favor: download a RSS reader and select just the exact type of information you need and then the sources that you trust.
2- Change your preferences of TV content. I’m not suggesting you stop watching Warner Channel or Sony Entertainment to just watch National Geographic, I’m only saying that we all could be a little more selective about the stuff we expose our minds to. I mean, unless you are a serial killer in disguise, I don’t think you can be a big fan of TV shows where everybody is killing everybody in a very graphic way. We need to ask ourselves: Is this what I’d like my kids to see and accept as a normal part of life? Children do what they see, they learn doing what the see, so if they see you usually watch this type of series, they will see it as normal and will start watching those too, and whatever stuff good or bad they see in them, they will remember.So why not then try to watch something nicer for a change?

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Now, lets talk about what we read… … … … … … … … … … … …
It’s ridiculous how very little we read now a days. It results incredible that in this day and age, when information is more available than ever, people isn’t reading.
We are so spoiled by TV that it is really hard to find a young person reading a good book instead of watching the idiotic box.

I myself must confess that it wasn’t until I turned 23 that I really fell in love with reading. Before that I would refuse to read, I would rebel against it, and I would read only what was mandatory to pass a subject at school or college.
Until one day I bumped into a great science fiction novel by a very famous (but back then unknown to me) author: Dean Koontz, the name of the book: Fear Nothing. And I must say that I have not stop reading for a single day since then.

Maybe some are in a similar situation than mine 10 years ago, maybe some others do like reading but feel there is not enough time to do so, so I wanted to share a couple of advices I once was given:
1- “ Always, no matter where you are going, take a book with you. There are hundreds of times that you can use to read a good book: when you are in line in a bank, when you are having lunch by yourself, when you are waiting in a reception for a meeting, etc.”
2- “The person that you will be in 5 years from now, will be a direct reflection of two main influences: the people you meet and the books that you read.”

Don’t know what to read? Luckily technology comes to the rescue again! There are tons of on line sources where you can get great stuff to read, my favorites are:

www.Shelfari.com a social network around reading, where you can find what members around the world are reading and what they think of it.

Blogs, blogs and blogs! I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned these before but here are my personal favorites:

Visit them, read them, enjoy them and share them, and tell me if with these you still think you don’t have great tools to stand guard at the entrance of the garden of your mind.

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An important note.

The comments, opinions and recommendations posted in this personal blog are my personal thoughts, and doesn't necesarily reflect those of my employer.