The secret to a successful life - Watch what you feed your mind

Darryl Bachmeier
Aug 10, 2019

Have you ever had a day when you simply couldn’t focus on your work because your mind was fixated on something terrible that had happened in another part of the world? Or maybe you got into an argument with someone on social media and it left your mind in a bitter state, making you unable to do anything productive?

If you can relate to these scenarios, then you are not alone. Millions of people from all over the world face a similar predicament in today’s hyper-connected and hyper-active world.

Thanks to the internet and social media, more information is available at our fingertips than we could possibly consume in an entire lifetime. On top of that, the Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma has shown how social media platforms are designed to trap you inside a rabbit hole of extreme content that hacks your mind, habits, and thoughts.

At a time like this, it has become ever more important for us to understand the effect this constant stream of information has on our ability to think and act normally, positively, and productively.

Your mind digests and reacts to whatever you feed it

Think about it this way: you try your best to avoid eating ‘unhealthy’ foods because you know the negative effects these have on your body. Most people are well-aware that consuming such foods over a long period of time can significantly damage their physical health and cause medical issues.

The same is true for your mind. The information you consume on a daily basis is the ‘food’ that goes into your brain and gets digested. If you feed your brain ‘unhealthy’ information like an unending stream of ‘breaking news’ that consists solely of terrible happenings from all over the world, your brain will digest all the negativity and sadness.

If your mind keeps on getting such stimuli for a long period of time, it will cease to support you in your goals and ambitions, and you will find yourself unable to be creative, resilient, focused, and productive.

On the other hand, if you read thoughtful books on a variety of subjects, watch inspirational and motivating content, your mind will feed off on the positive energy in this information and make it easier for you to work towards your goals and become successful in life.

How to build a healthy diet of information for your mind

There are a number of strategies you can implement in your life to take control of what goes inside your mind.

Before we dive into these, you must understand that you can’t introduce all of these changes in your life all at the same time - especially if you want them to be sustainable. Pick one that seems the easiest for you to work with, and try to follow it consistently until it becomes a habit. After that, repeat this process.

Curate your social media feed

The kind of posts you get in your feed on platforms like Facebook and Instagram is determined by algorithms that bring you more content based on what you’ve watched in the past. Whenever you find a post or story that injects a wave of negativity in your mind, go ahead and check the ‘not interested’ option so you get less of the same in the future.

Limit your consumption of news and social media

We tend to fall into the trap of thinking that we must stay updated every minute of the day about the latest events in the world. True, it is important to know what’s going on in the world, but you can keep yourself informed easily by checking in on the news for half an hour towards the end of your day when you’re done with all your work.

Apply the same rule to social media consumption: restrict yourself from spending more than 30 minutes (or an hour, at most) on social media in a day, and make sure you don’t get into it until you’ve completed your to-do list for the day.

Pick up a book and build a reading habit

There’s no denying it: a huge number of successful people in the world credit their achievements to a habit of regular book-reading. Books contain a wealth of deep, well-researched, and thought-provoking information - the best diet for your mind.

It’s your choice whether you prefer hard copies or eBooks, but pick a subject that interests you, find a book on that subject, and read 10 minutes daily. You’ll notice the burst of ideas and energy in your mind pretty quickly.

Practice gratitude journaling

Something as simple as writing down the three things you are grateful for at the end (or beginning) of every day can dramatically improve how you feel and how motivated you are to pursue your goals.

The constant daily reminders will rewire your brain to focus on the positives and increase your resilience, making you better able to deal with failure and rejection, setting you up for success.

A healthy diet for your body, and your brain

We instinctively understand the role healthy nutrition plays in our physical health. It is time we stop discriminating and extend the same care and consideration to our minds.

After all, a healthy and active mind leads to better thinking, better focus, and better ideas. A healthy mind is the secret to a successful life.

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