Year one of my total, well semi-total transformation from gambling addict to entrepreneur and author, I cut out all bad news, political news, movies, music, and any an everything that would get in my way of changing my life. The actions that I ritually took during that time were spiritual rituals and personal development.
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I completely detoxed from external influence. This will not likely work for many a people for a few reasons.
- Not supported (i.e your significant other isn’t on the same page and will sabotage your plans and most likely turn on the nightly news or constantly talk about the bullshit in the news and press)
- You need constant stimuli or you feel bored out of your mind
- Your job. You may work in a place, with people that keeps you glued on the negatives of everything
I was supported by my partner and I had no problem with zoning everything out for months! It takes real guts to shut it all down: social media was at a baseline minimum – T.V was eliminated along with the news and everything else in between.
But that was 4 years ago and now I come to understand that some news I am just not going to filter unless I go live under a rock somewhere in Utah or go on a lifetime retreat in the hills of Tibet.
My business is on social media so therefore I am as well. I am in networking groups, on the internet, consuming information in drips and negative things still come into my life. Then I have to make the valuation that bad things are going to happen, but is there a way to change my perspective about them? Good people are going to die and just about everyone will try to drag you into their ‘reality’ of life which is going to need a good system of filtration. Daily filters.
At any giving point if you consume just 1 hour of media or let the TV play the content will feed you:
- 2 Rappers Shot Dead
- Kids being taken away from their parents at the border
- Trade Wars, Nuclear, China, …
- Trump, Opinions, This and That
- Volcanoes eruption / Floods / Global Warming Destruction
- Debt Deficit
- School Shootings / Gun War / Protests etc.
All depressing shit.
Then you have to realize that you have a choice and I’ve always had a choice to just stop looking, stop consuming this fear ridden garbage …
Then as I sit here pounding away at my business, trying to make it the best thing, modeling it for the future, and making it worth something later ..I come to realize that shit, I have everyday problems too. Sometimes I sensationalize my own problems and give them juice and strength. Sometimes, if I am not careful, I overthink about the small stuff that appear monstrous through magnifying glass.
Today I received a SCAM phone call which I sent to voicemail and hour later I checked the voicemail only to hear a deep, almost terrifying voice spewing off a script about legal actions being taken towards me. I immediately got pissed (something external that meant nothing changed my state, changed my mood – that’s control) at the fact, and started fake thinking about what it could have been (building on fear). Then after a little research, I found the whole thing to be a scam. But this goes to show how one external touch point can put you into a loop. Thank God, I was able to snap out of it fairly quickly but I can see how someone like my mother, or grandmother can receive a call and voicemail like this and their entire month is ruined.
I can see how continuous consumption of news data, media data and sensationalism can fuck with one’s conscious for months. Daily living on the edge of fear and doom. Since I somehow am still aligned and allowing small bits of data in through papers, friends, and media I have to filter it somehow. I achieve this through the power of perspective.
Perspective is knowing the difference between your car being broken down and not reacting to it as if someone just shot your pooch. A good start in breaking through problems is taking an immediate reality assessment of it in relative to whom, what ?
The phony call that I received and immediately reacted emotionally to it as if someone had a gun to my head while handcuffing and taking me in for question isn’t ‘normal’ and is a trigger to me that fear was leading the way. When someone begins to get emotional about becoming ‘too old’ and you come to find that they are 50 years old and you compare that to a 90 year old, then they are young! Then a 90 year old compared to being dead looks like a good number after all!
When I look at my problems now, I don’t just sit there and apply self-pity generously, I quickly ask – with all that is going on, is my problem even a problem. When I sum total the problems of the world, the earth, the solar system – is my problem major? When I look at depressed countries warring in political and social strife – I wonder, should this problem cause me pain? It’s about taking a greater perspective and understanding how you can shave problems down to there relative size. A size that you can look at, laugh at and solve because it’s easier to handle.
There were two times in my life where I thought that something was super serious and I was going to have to face the backlash of these compounded issues. Both turned out nothing like I imagined (catastrophic near extinction level event ) and it never came crashing down. The problem disappeared when I looked at it and confronted it in a manner of keeping it down to size. We can all learn a lot from perspective and relativity but most importantly we must take a peek into reality and stay there if we must ever take control of what is happening in our lives.
Reality = the world or the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them.
Thanks for reading.
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Stacy A. Cross