Do you want a news commentator or weather personality
establishing your mindset for the day?
One night this past week, after I shut down my computer I decided to catch the evening news before I went to bed. All I really wanted to see was the weather report for the coming day. What I got was a reminder of why I don’t like ending or beginning my day with the news.
On this particular night, the first five stories addressed:
- Tax dollar boondoggle.
- Soaring food prices.
- Child molestation.
- Sex offenders.
All of that came in the first seven or so minutes. When I asked a local news reporter why this is the case, he told me that is what “sells.” Hmm. Are you buying?
Most weekday mornings you will find me in the gym at 5:00 a.m. I warm up on one of the cross trainers. Each machine has its own television screen. I watch people stumble in and the first thing they do is turn on the news. Their first bit of mental stimulation for the day is pretty much what the evening news offered the previous day. The order might change, but you will get political turmoil, economic woes, rape, murder, and war.
As Don Henley sang in the ‘80s, people seem to love dirty laundry.
Even the weather seems to take on a histrionic flavor. Rather than just a report and forecast, we hear about the approaching storms and the devastation they will likely bring or have brought—sometimes for the entire 24/7 cycle. I’m not saying to ignore well-intentioned storm warnings. The danger can enter when we choose a steady diet of reports, photos, and video about death and destruction over and over and over.
Do you want a news commentator or weather personality establishing your mindset for the day?
I am not advocating a “put-your-head-in-the-sand-and-ignore-the-news” approach to life. I want to be informed. However, I have decided to make better choices about when, where, and for how long I will dine on the events of the day. I would rather start my day with physical exercise and some inspirational reading or writing.
My morning strategy includes:
- Gratitude. Before I set my feet on the floor I thank God for my talents and affirm I will use them for good today.
- Physical conditioning. I spend about 45 minutes to an hour in the gym.
- Mental conditioning. I read something inspiring. This could be a journal article or the latest book I have just purchased. No email yet! There will be plenty of time for that kind of reading.
- Diet. A healthy breakfast is last on my list before I head out the door.
Your schedule might be crammed with getting kids to school, working two jobs, or helping an ill family member. I would encourage you to re-evaluate how you start the day. Even if you can carve out fifteen minutes, it will be a positive start for your day. You’re worth it! Moreover, it will give you a better view of the day in front of you.
The world is still out there. There is important news to read and view. And you will get to it with a much better mindset.
Video recommendation for the week:
For this week’s video, I will repeat one I shot at the end of 2011. I present a graphic demonstration about the importance of choosing well when it comes to what we put into our minds each day.
Enjoy your week—and H.T.R.B. as needed!
Slots are now available for my February 13 webinar, Retention and Persistence: Why Do Students Stay and Why Do They Leave Our Institutions? Check my website for registration information.
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©2013. Steve Piscitelli.