Watch What You Feed Your Mind
It is common knowledge that what we eat has a strong influence on our health and bodies. Professional athletes and bodybuilders pay close attention to their diets and often take supplements to help them attain the bodies that will enable their maximum performance. Doctors often prescribe certain foods to eat or medicines to take and tell patients which substances to avoid.
When you eat unhealthy processed foods, or even toxic substances, your body will become more out of shape. If you eat healthy natural foods, in combination with physical exercise, your body will become more in shape. This is common knowledge.
However, although we know the importance of what we feed our stomachs, what is less discussed is the importance of what we feed our minds.
The internet has become a fundamental part of modern society and people now have access to limitless choices on what to consume when it comes to entertainment, information, news, opinion, etc.
Never before in human history has so much information and knowledge been so widely accessible. But has this greatly improved your intelligence and wisdom? The answer varies widely because of the sheer amount of content on the internet. Even though there is so much beneficial content, there is also a lot of time-wasting content, as well as toxic content that influence viewers negatively. There is a lot of content that adds little to no value to people’s lives and merely serve as time killers. There is also content that promotes unhealthy behaviors such as drug use, excessive drinking, childishness, laziness, being irresponsible, etc. One of the most prolific types of content on the internet is that of a sexual nature, and that often ends up wasting people’s time and wasting people’s sexual energy.
Whether or not the internet benefits you depends on the type of content you choose to consume. If you choose to consume content that educate you, that inspire you, that motivate you, you will become smarter, more creative, and more ambitious. If you choose to consume meaningless content or toxic content, you will waste your time, you will adopt negative ways of thinking, and you will become a worse person.
What you feed your mind directly influences who you become, what you do, and what you believe, and that is why it is very important to watch what your mind consumes.
When I recommend to my readers to feed your mind with content that educate, inspire, or motivate you, I do not mean eschew all forms of entertainment.
Not all entertainment is equal. Some forms of entertainment can uplift and inspire you. Watching films and TV shows where the characters are virtuous, heroic, or possess other positive qualities will affect you in a positive way. Reading fiction with these types of characters can also have the same effect. Following the vlogs or blogs of people who inspire you can also benefit you.
Culture is often spread through entertainment. If you consume entertainment that promote beliefs, values, or ideas you support and believe in, then you will reinforce those beliefs, values, or ideas. If you consume entertainment that promote the opposite, you may be confused and your conviction in what you believe in may be undermined. If you are still young and have not formed strong beliefs then the culture spread through the entertainment you consume will have a powerful effect on the ideas you’ll develop.
Entertainment and fiction has the potential to expand our creativity and I would categorize it as a source of inspiration. We all need some entertainment in our downtime to stay refreshed and energized, the key is to be selective with the type of entertainment you consume, as they are not all equal. Consume entertainment that uplift or inspire you, and avoid entertainment that is vapid and meaningless because it will waste your time. Also avoid entertainment that are toxic influences because it can induce you to adopt negative behaviors and ways of thinking.
Throughout this article I have mostly discussed how the digital content we feed our minds influence us, but our minds not only consume digital content. In addition to books, films, and TV shows (which can also be consumed digitally), our minds can also be influenced with who we interact with, the environment we surround ourselves in, the music we listen to, and the activities we do.
All of these examples influence our minds. Motivational speaker Jim Rohn once said, “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”. We do tend to adopt the habits, thinking, and mannerisms of those around us, whether consciously or unconsciously, so we should be selective of who we spend time with.
Similarly, we should pay attention to the environment we surround ourselves in. Put yourself in a quiet library full of books, clean and well furbished desks and furniture, and hardworking people, and you will become more studious and productive. Put yourself in a loud and chaotic household full of arguments, drama, and toxic energy, and you will pick up on this negativity and become more cynical, depressed, and low energy.
The music we listen to can affect us as well. It can invigorate us and give us more energy, it can lead us to think and feel more deeply and profoundly, and it can inspire us with new ideas. But it also has the potential to influence us negatively. Terrible lyrics promoting bad behavior can subconsciously influence what we think is acceptable and can encourage us to act out these bad impulses. Just like not all entertainment are equal, not all music are equal.
And what we do of course helps form our identity and how we see ourselves. Go to the gym on a regular basis and you’ll see yourself as a healthy disciplined person who pays attention to his fitness. Eat processed fast food every meal and you won’t see yourself as such. Work hard everyday at your job, your business, or your passion and you will see yourself as an industrious person out to achieve his goals. Laze around on your couch all the time and you won’t. How we see ourselves has a profound impact on our identity, and therefore our behavior. If you see yourself as a disciplined person, you will practice discipline. If you see yourself as an industrious person, you will work harder. That is why you should also pay attention with what you do with your time.
In fact, how we live and what we allow into our lives will all influence our minds, and will affect who we become, what we do, and what we believe.
Just like feeding your body with the right foods and nutrition will make you healthier, stronger, and more energetic, feeding your mind with things that educate you, inspire you, and motivate you will make you smarter, more creative, and more ambitious. There is a saying that “you are what you eat”. A more insightful message is that you are what you consume.
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