"The key to success is to focus our mind on things we desire not things we fear."
As I've said in a previous blog entry, television, newspapers and the media exist to make money. They do this by focusing on FUDGE – Fear, Uncertainty, Disaster, Greed and Envy – in order to grab your attention and influence you both through editorial and advertising. They take existing negative values and amplify them.
Because of evolved processes and mechanisms in the neural patterning system of the brain, we are strongly attentive to danger and negative stimuli. The media makes use of these processes and mechanisms to garner your awareness and attention. They celebrate fear and failure. Good news is NO news. Papers are filled with disaster and despair.
The Research is in...
There is a huge body of research showing the influence of television and video on human behaviour. The preponderance of evidence from more than 3,000 research studies over two decades shows that violence portrayed in the media influences the attitudes and behaviour of those who watch it.
Television is filled with violence and aggression. For example, an American Psychological Association report on television showed that by the time the average child leaves elementary school, he or she will have witnessed at least 8,000 murders and more than 100,000 other assorted acts of violence on television.
This is not something you would subject your loving self to when you give yourself the gift of life enhancing!
We become what we focus on...
We become what we focus on, and we’re influenced by the messages and environment around us. Television sends a mixed bag of messages, the majority of which are negative and filled with stereotypes of selfishness, greed, demeaning sexuality and shallow values. Are these the messages you want to imprint in your unconscious mind? No!
The great personal development motivator Zig Zigler says that we are all:
“SNIOP – Susceptible to the Negative Influences of Other People”.We are social beings and our brains are optimised for tracking and responding to the behaviours and social messages of others.
Television and the media present distorted views of others; they show us either the worst of human behaviour to which we either become desensitised or have our innate ‘out-group’ fears amplified, or they show us the very small percentage of special, ‘beautiful’ people – ultra-thin fashion models or ultra-rich greed models.
None of these are healthy messages for your mind. None of these are healthy messages for life enhancing.
I stopped following the media...
I well remember the day I decided to stop buying and reading newspapers. I was doing my Masters degree in Applied Physics. A National newspaper had decided to report on the research being done by our group. The reporter came and interviewed us all. This would be a minor article that would be printed in the back half of the paper – not earth-shattering news, more a general interest section.
We eagerly awaited the following day’s paper to see our small piece of fame. What a surprise we got. Almost nothing in the article was correct. We had been misquoted, the facts were wrong, the article was a load of rubbish. “Wow”, I thought, “How can they have gotten something so simple and so un-political, so wrong?” There was no benefit or purpose in how inaccurate the piece was. This was not something that had political or monetary motivation.
It was then I realised, that if something so trivial was so badly distorted, what was happening with the more important stories – the ones that carried social importance and influence? How were they being distorted and misreported?
Read something more useful instead...
I decided that in future I’d use my time to read a varied selection of non-fiction books and non-fiction magazines like ‘New Scientist’ to gain the important information about what was happening in the world. Society changes through the impact of science and technology. I would be better served learning about the coming advances that would change our world, rather than reading inaccurate and biased editorial from media designed to amplify FUDGE and serve the interests of power groups and money-lords.
What's your choice?
It’s up to you. How do you want to invest your time? Who do you want to be influenced by? What sort of influences – positive or negative – do you want in your life? Choose carefully.
In this massively changing and accelerating world, where information is bombarding and coming at you faster than you can filter it, do you want to carefully choose the media that’s sending messages throughout your mind and life? I sure do!
Living an enhanced and enhancing life means giving yourself the gift of positive influence. Loving yourself and supporting yourself means being careful of what information you allow yourself to be bombarded with. Stay away from television and newspapers – there are much better ways to learn about the world and learn about and create your wondrous and enhanced life.
Loving Your Mind... Loving Learning and Knowledge
Knowledge and choice give you more power and control in your life. You gain knowledge through reading. Reading brings the thoughts and ideas of other minds into your life. It’s an incredible way to absorb vicarious experience. Think about it. Most books, even fiction books, represent months and sometimes years of work and distillation of ideas and thoughts by another human being.
People write books because they have something to say or share. In a couple of hours reading you can experience what another person took a lifetime to accumulate and learn. Books and reading are an amazing way to quickly live aspects of another person’s life, to absorb some of their experience and wisdom.
Reading also increases your vocabulary. And research has shown that people’s perception of intelligence is correlated strongly with vocabulary. The larger your vocabulary, the more you will be perceived as intelligent by other people. This can be important because it has also been shown that income is linked to the perceptions of others. The take home message here is that reading can actually lead to more opportunities in life, a higher income and ultimately a better life.
So read widely and read often. Go on an Accelerated Reading course. Learn to read swiftly and with increased memory and retention. Once you’ve mastered the skill of accelerated reading you’ll find that reading is immense fun. It takes you into a ‘zone’ of flow, where the words disappear and instead the ideas and images go straight from the page into your brain and mind.
It feels fantastic and the research from Positive Psychology shows that this experience of flow actually creates lasting positive spirals of creativity, clarity of thinking and emotional resilience. How cool is that? Reading is not only fun, it’s actually good for your mind and body!
So make time to read in your life. Make it a positive habit. Pick up a book, a novel or a highly valued magazine, rather than turn on the idiot box television or video. Be thoughtful and selective in your reading. Stretch yourself.
You’ll be grateful to yourself for loving and supporting your brain and mind more wondrously. See yourself as a great reader and make it a permanent and proud part of your identity and life.
Now that is life enhancing!