Last week I was on the treadmill at the gym and I found myself irritated over ridiculous news story I was watching. I normally don’t watch the news, but this morning my phone died, which is also my music player. It was a reminder of how big of an impact the messages we receive can play in how we approach the world.
The average American gets hammered with over 5,000 messages per day in one form or another. This means each one of us is having to make decision after decision after decision on what we are going to pay attention to and what we are going to ignore.
If it was only that easy!
It’s not that easy! Sure we can say we are going to consciously make and effort to pay attention and that’s all well and good, but what about all the other stuff that our subconscious is sucking in without us even realizing it.
We are at a disadvantage!
Most of the messages we experience aren’t coming from people we trust and sources who genuinely have our best interest in mind. They are coming from sources who understand how we think, feel, and act more than we do. Their number one goal is to influence you and I to do something that at the end of the day benefits them. The tricky part is, they make us think we’re in control.
We’re not! Yet!
The only way to win this battle is to understand your passions and values and proactively seek out information and resources that align with the person you want to be. Being reactive puts you at the mercy of everything coming at you.
Here are five ways you can take control and kill all the messengers that have no interest you being confident and living fulfilled.
- Set Expectations
Set expectations for what type of person you want to be and what type of life you want to live. Call it vision, goals, interests, passions… however you want to phrase it is up to you. Once you set expectations you’ll know what you need to pay attention to and what really doesn’t matter.
- Select Your Network
We talked about this in a previous post “Soar with the Eagles“. You are who you hang with! The people you roll with are a reflection of who you are and an picture of who you are trying to be. Surround yourself with people who inspire you and cut out those that take and bring you down. Need some help? Read this “Removing Toxic People From Your Life”
There is so much great FREE information available right now at your finger tips on whatever topic you’re interested in. Read blogs and articles… watch YouTube clips or documentaries on Netflix… listen to podcasts and audio books. Of course there is reliable and unreliable information, but you’ll figure out what works and what doesn’t.
- Get Involved
Once you figure out your passions and values, get involved in things that align with them. Getting involved will accomplish two things. One: You’ll meet like minded people, which contributes to #2 above. Two: When you focus on things you’re passionate about, the stuff that doesn’t align, doesn’t seem to matter as much.
- Find a Mentor, Coach, or Trusted Advisor
If you haven’t yet, watch the video on the upper right of this site. Google CEO, Eric Schmidt talks about the value of this. We all need people who want to see us succeed that will give us the good, bad, and the ugly. Often we are our own worst enemy. Few things are more valuable than the third-party perspective of someone we trust.
Of the thousands of messages you encounter on a daily basis, how many of them align with your passions and values and are helping you live confidently and fulfilled? If you don’t know, you need to pay attention. If you don’t like what you discover, you need to change it! Only you can!
What messages will you pay attention to by 30?
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