“There are many things of which a wise man might wish to be ignorant.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
Your mother probably admonished you as a youngster: “You need to finish that plate of food because there are children in Africa starving right now.” So we have been conditioned to eat even when our stomach is full or even if we don’t really like the taste of the food. The negative side effects surround us everywhere.
Living in this age of access to unprecedented amounts of information, we must be careful not to overindulge there, too. Just as it is harmful to overeat, it is perhaps even more detrimental to consume the incessant amount of unrelated and useless information that fills the web, the airwaves (TV and radio), and print. Just because it’s free to access doesn’t mean it comes without another kind of cost.
This type of cost is more precious than the monetary kind. It’s your valuable time. Unlike money, time can’t be replaced once it’s gone. Like the youngster who becomes conditioned to eat too much, we are becoming conditioned to consume too much information, most of it the useless variety. Many of us need to go on an information diet! How many minutes and hours are wasted daily on email, Facebook, and various news/entertainment websites? Too many.
“Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.” -Albert Einstein
Not all reading or information is harmful, of course. But it is time to stop reading negative and time-consuming information that is not helping you advance toward your goals. If you start reading an article that turns out to be less useful than you thought, no need to keep reading it. Do you have to constantly check your email? Not really. Start taking your time back by going on an information diet today. You will be much more productive and will like the new you the next time you look in the mirror.