Welcome to Chapter 4 of Dan Bennett - The Diary of a Bored Kid!
Welcome back to The Diary of a Bored Kid. Thanks so much for joining me again.
I'm currently in Charlotte, NC, spending some time with friends, working out, eating great food, reading and generally staying under the radar just having a bit of me time.
I thought todays Blog Post would be a great chance to talk about consumerism, and how the old saying "You are what you eat" goes much further than just that. Instead, I like to refer to it as; "You are what you consume." I have said in previous posts that you are currently the living embodiment of your previous habits and actions, however I'd like to take that one step further and say you are also the living embodiment of everything you consume. What I mean by that; You are the direct result of the content you consume, as well as the people you surround yourself with, the food you eat and the environments you choose to be in. Sounds obvious I know, but bare with me...
It is no surprise that during The Vietnam War the United States Government were terrified that soldiers were going to bring opioid addictions back to U.S Soil. In a climate full of opioids experiencing the tragedies and hardships of war, Lee. N Robins recounts how; "35 percent of service members in Vietnam had tried heroin and as many as 20 percent were addicted—the problem was even worse than they had initially thought."
The American Government was extremely worried that they would have an Opioid epidemic on their hands. The actual reality of what happened was far different than what was originally anticipated. Robins found that; 'only 5 percent of soldiers became re-addicted within a year, and just 12 percent relapsed within three years.'
Roughly 9 out of 10 soldiers, who had used Heroin in Vietnam practically stopped their addiction overnight.
Why's that important?
Within this context, this proves the importance of the environment you are in and the content you consume and are surrounded by.
Where the environment and outside stimuli changed, so did the habit.
When relaying this into the context of content consumption, is it any surprise that mental health issues are on the rise because of the amount of negative content that is readily available for us to consume through the ease of Social Media and the multitude of News Networks.
Not going to lie, speaking anecdotally there have been multiple times where I have had to delete different social media accounts due to the negative headspace these can put you in. Scrolling through my home pages and reguarly seeing arguments, racism, violence, police brutality, multiple city protests, it's not good and it's not healthy consuming this much negativity on a daily basis. I'm not saying much has changed within 20 years, but the visibility these apps give us, means everything is more on show than ever before. Obviously, in certain situations this has its positives, however when turned negative this can have a seriously recessive effect on our Mental Welfare.
Although, I don't advise being intentionally ignorant to the outside world, I do believe you have a priority to protect your mental health and are responsible for putting yourself in a better frame of mind. This means, choosing wisely the content that you watch, listen to and read. This means actively choosing the environments you are putting yourself in, and the people that you choose to put yourself around. I'm not saying to delete your socials, quit your job and break up a relationship with a partner. However, I am definitely advising you to do a mental temperature check on all of these environments to see if each of these are in-line with supporting your personal goals.
Social Chain Founder and CEO Steven Bartlett says it best; "Everything changes when you realize that your diet isn't just what you eat; It's what you watch, what you read, who you follow and who you spend your time with. If your goal is to have a healthier mind this year, start by removing the junk from your diet."
Ultimately, the content you consume will have a gigantic effect on the destination and direction of your life.
Within the past 2 years, I have put a massive emphasis on reading and listening to a multitude of podcasts, audio books, and consuming specific content that relates to the lifestyle I want to build and the people that I aspire to emulate. Not only does this cut out all the bullshit you scroll through on your feed, but it proactively is a great way to put yourself into a great mood from the outset as you only see and read things from those who inspire and motivate you.
One of my close friends asked me today "does it not give you FOMO (Fear of missing Out) listening to soo many podcasts, business people, travelers, athletes, successful people speak."
Her point being does listening to all these people who have achieved a level of success in their lives that I would one day like to achieve, does it not make you feel like all these people are doing all these amazing things and you aren't yet where they are.
My answer was simple: "Motivation not intimidation" - So many of the people I listen to and follow are from a similar background to me, have worked their balls off to get where they are. Much of their content comes from a place much similar to my own: they have a passion, they actively work towards it and they have proactively designed the life they want. Most importantly, these people have not let outside intimidation effect their overall mission and values.
Thats why I think Content Consumption is so important. You can design the life you want, by proactively designing and choosing the type of content that you consume on a daily basis.
Despite listening regularly to multiple business people speak, I always remind myself not to compare my story to theirs. Everyone is on their own journey, and although you can take motivation and advice from the content you consume it is important to remember you are you, they are they and everyone is running their own race.
Thats another very important aspect of consuming content - to not become competitive and frustrated with those you are watching. Although it sounds cheesy it would be very easy for me to get competitive and frustrated when I compare my bank account or physical shape with a top level professional athlete. It would be very easy for me to get frustrated and down, when looking at a Property Developer who has built Sky Scrapers in NYC, it would be very easy and frustrated to get jealous of someone in their 20's or who is younger than me who has built a bigger business than I have.
Remember, success is always subjective, you are running your own race, and although competition is good, it can very easily spill over to jealousy and frustration. I've been there.
Temperature check your environment and make sure each aspect is aligned to designing the life you want. Deliberately choose your content to put you in a positive and inspired frame of mind. Find those who are doing / have done what you aspire to do and read and learn off them. Remember life isn't a competition, success is subjective and everyone is running their own race.
As always, thanks for reading!