Book Review: Stop Reading the News: A Manifesto for a Happier, Calmer and Wiser Life by Rolf Dobelli
The holidays are over so now I am back into my routine and will be posting regularly. I know I promised that last month but had some new business developments and took some time off to enjoy the Christmas season. In the past I was always working as much as possible but now I have the flexibility to take time off when needed or reduce my load.
Let's start off with a book that I just finished over the weekend. Stop Reading the News: A Manifesto for a Happier, Calmer and Wiser Life. If there is one resolution people should be focusing on it's avoiding the news. We end up wasting an incredible amount of time, energy and emotions, mostly negative, on consuming the news. If you took that time into food shopping, cooking and preparing meals you would be much healthier and wouldn't be complaining that you don't have time. We all have time, we just spend it differently.
I have a few clients I work with in person and the news and drama and negativity control them. If something happens they come in to a workout session upset. They worry about things and other people that aren't impacting them. They aren't sleeping. If they stop listening to all the crap out there and put their attention elsewhere, they could live a less stressed life and be much happier! I have been avoiding the news since I started watching TV. I don't have time to get upset about something that happened in a different state or country. A plane crash? I will mourn for those people but what sense is it to stare at the TV for hours waiting for updates when it doesn't affect my life. Sounds harsh but it's the truth. Anything political I don't have any control over so I am focusing on my businesses, my health, my happiness and my loved ones.
The author makes a fantastic point. I'm sure each year there were plenty of stories you got worked up about. Make a list on a sheet of paper from 2010-2019. Try writing down the important stories or headlines from those years. I got nothing. What's more important...what happened to you, your health, your business, your loved ones. That's what you will remember. And trust me, between my clients and people posting on social media, I will always be up to date with things without spending time reading and watching and stressing. While many followed the virus day in and out during the lockdown, I created a business and used my time to read and study to improve my other business. Time and money well spent. The one weekend I spent keeping up with the news I went into a depression and couldn't get any work done. The solution: no more news, no more updates for me.
One of the big things that stood out to me was an example the author used. Let's say there's an earthquake live on TV. It's very disturbing seeing the death, bodies, people crawling out of the rubble. By watching the news we are not giving the victims attention, you are giving the journalist or media outlet the ratings and attention that they need. The only way to help the victims would be to send money or help in some fashion. Not by giving the channel attention and high ratings. Just a different perspective to think about.
I will end this with a few quotes I liked.
"I spent tens of thousands of hours consuming the news. I asked myself two questions: do you understand the world better? And: do you make better decisions? The answer was no."
"News is to the mind what sugar is to the body: appetizing, easily digestible and extremely damaging. The media is feeding us tidbits that taste palatable but do nothing to satisfy our hunger for knowledge."
To reiterate: I am not here to say I'm right or you're wrong with my blog posts. But I have a strong opinion on what is best for people. I also want to challenge the way you think. My belief is putting time and energy into your work, knowledge, health and family is time better spent than getting upset watching the news.