Why let someone else interrupt
my thought process and mindset
with what they see as something
I “need” to know “right now”
from the “world out there”?
Every cardio machine in our local gym has the ubiquitous television monitor attached to it. And every morning you will find members dutifully burning off calories, building stamina, and getting their daily agenda (in part or in full) set for them.
Maybe you know people for whom, after awakening each morning, the first exercise they get is to grab the remote and click on the morning “news.” This assumes, of course, that they had not fallen asleep with the last thing they heard coming from the agenda of someone else’s mouth. Perhaps they suffer from FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). I don’t know.
A study from more than forty years ago found
In choosing and displaying news, editors, newsroom staff, and broadcasters play an important part in shaping political reality. Readers learn not only about a given issue, but also how much importance to attach to that issue from the amount of information in a news* story and its position….
[The above * added by me. According to dictionary.com, “news” is defined as “the presentation of a report on recent or new events in a newspaper or other periodical or on radio or television.” Perhaps we should address whether the “news” is really “news.” Other than a change in name or location, for instance, does the general presentation of the “news” change? Look at most programming and you have some semblance of this order: “Breaking News Alert” followed by “story about death” followed by “story about destruction” followed by “story about weather catastrophe” followed by “story about crash during rush hour” followed by “story about economic calamity” followed by….
Doesn’t really sound “newsy” to me.]
It would be simplistic to state that the “news” tells us how to think. It may not be much of a stretch, however, to say that the “news” does direct what we think about–if we allow it. And it’s not just the network or cable news. If I were to wake up and immediately go to my social media feed, I stand the chance of my “friends” setting my agenda for the day.
The late Jim Rohn (speaker, author, trainer) said that you are the “average of the five people you spend most of your time with.” Who we hang with matters. Matters in terms of good/poor physical health, optimistic/pessimistic outlook, hopeful/fearful about the future, and loving/hating others. These people can, if we let them, set our agenda for the day. They will “contribute” soon enough during the day. I make the argument to give yourself some time to think, reflect, set YOUR course, and then invite them onto YOUR agenda. Maybe create a JOMO movement (Joy Of Missing Out!).
Years ago, I decided that I would take more control of setting my daily agenda. Not just the to-do list but my mindset as well. I don’t wish to start my day with someone squawking at me from the TV or screaming through my earbuds. I seldom read the newspaper with my morning coffee. There will be time enough to get to my email. I am fortunate to live in a loving relationship (rather than a conflict-habituated one) that starts the day with pleasantries rather than an argument.
I still get my “news”—but remain discerning (and hopefully critical) about my sources (looking for various views).
I have eliminated just about all “news” alerts on my devices. Among the few exceptions: baseball, local weather and airline texts when I travel. Why let someone else interrupt my thought process and mindset with what they see as something I “need” to know “right now” from the “world out there”?
Video recommendation of the week. And since it’s “news” I think I already know the categories of the most recent “Breaking News Alert!”
Yes, of course, if there is an emergency situation, I can tune it. But if every moment of every day is an “emergency” then we might need to redefine emergency.
Even if your start time is only fifteen or thirty minutes (or five or ten) before the world starts calling you, why not take control of that little time to set your intentions for the day? Their intentions will come calling soon enough.
“Breaking News Alert!”- Start your day intentionally and make it a great one.
Make it an inspiring week and H.T.R.B. as needed.
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My books Choices for College Success (3rd edition) and Study Skills: Do I Really Need This Stuff? (3rd edition) are published by Pearson Education.
(c) 2016. Steve Piscitelli. All rights reserved.