If I had to contribute my success of maintaining my peace of mind 85% of the time in the past 3 years, it had to be THIS concept that single-handedly changed my life:
In other words, you choose what you don’t want to know.
Being deliberate and proactive is key here – you do have a choice to not consume certain information.
In the world of information overload and FOMO (fear of missing out), it is incredibly hard to ignore all the noises out there since we have access to almost everything.
Which is exactly why we should start filtering information.
If you really think about it, most things you consume (especially from the TV) won’t benefit your life in any way. In fact, they do more harm than good.
Seriously, why should I care about the world weather and the Kardashian family?
On a more personal level, why should I care about that high school friend I haven’t talked to for over a decade getting engaged in Paris?
The 24/7 news cycle and the endless newsfeed on social media platforms can be an issue if we are not careful.
We get lost and drown in all those noises, social signals and negativity every single minute.
So, how can we create calm and peace in our lives in such an environment?
Practise information diet.
2 Steps to a Healthy Information Diet 🥑
We need to proactively curate information that serves our goals, and filter out information that impacts our mental health.
I have been practising and preaching this concept ever since I read about it from “4 Hour Work Week”. The idea proved super helpful when I encountered a long period of social unrest in 2019; not to mention the global pandemic.
P.S. I wrote about the basic idea of selective ignorance in Nov 2020 here FYI.
Here’s what I have been doing in the past 3-4 years to massively change my mindset and emotional health:
1 Identify Your Sources of Information 👓
For me, it’s mainly newsletter, YouTube and Spotify for articles, educational videos and podcast episodes (I don’t watch TV).
At this stage you might also consider unfollowing or muting people on social media that don’t make you feel good (hard to do, but it’s worth it I promise).
Need a reminder? If something costs your mental health, it’s too costly.
2 Curate Your Lists of Good Information 📝
It is part of my weekly reset routine that I curate playlists on YouTube and Spotify for videos and episodes I want to consume (that I’m interested in + would serve my goals).
This practice is effective for the following reasons:
1 Fewer decisions to be made during the week. Your time, energy and attention are limited, hence it only makes sense to curate the lists beforehand.
2 You save time by setting your own rule. Every time you cook or drive for example, you listen to the playlists you curated (my Spotify playlist is called “driving” so I can ask Siri to play it for me when my hands are on the wheels or dirty). If I want to watch YouTube videos, I go to my “watch later” playlist. No more scrolling through the “browse” or “made for you” pages.
For articles I want to consume, I save them on this free app called Instapaper and I either listen or read only when I have 0 motivation to work.
Honestly, practising information diet is the best thing you can do to have more mental clarity and peace of mind.
Try and experiment the information diet, and let me know how you go! 😉
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