Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Limit Your Consumption and Instantly Feel Better

credit fine artist Samuel Carter
When most people talk about consumption or cutting back from it, often times they are talking about physical "stuff."  In the last 24 months, I have limited that type of consumption in my life and I am looking forward to pushing ahead with less "stuff" weighing me down. My theme for 2014 was "unencumbered" which loosely means not weighed down or burdened.

Just as the new year rolled in, I read something from a Fast Company list of the most productive people that struck me.  Founder and CEO of Chobani, Hamdi Ulukaya said this: "...as the business grows, you get more attention, and then you realize that the whole world is trying to get time from you. Which is amazing. But every time you give it to the world, you give less to what you're doing."

I read Hamdi's comments as this - the more you consume energy, attention or anything that sucks your time away from your purpose, the less time you give to your purpose. Instantly, I was challenged to be a better steward of what I consumed mentally.

That's right, content, news, articles, blogs, commentaries, op-eds,  - I had to figure out how to better consume information.

We live in a time where you could literally lose a day "catching up" on the headlines from around the world or just in your neighborhood.  You could get lost and go down a rabbit hole of the vast number of opinions of one single Oscar speech or comment: Read Patricia Arquette's acceptance speech and subsequent comments or Sean Penn's insensitive off-the-cuff remark on the Best Director winner's immigration status that have lit up the internet in the last 48 hours.

As a wife, mom, business owner and public servant, there is only so much time in a day. We are all afforded the same amount of time. Yet, I was feeling like I had less and less until I made a conscious decision to limit what I take in. My alarm started as 2014 was winding down and the barrage of shocking and sad news stories on injustice and racial tensions just became too much. Couple that with our own battle of injustice within our family, I just withdrew.

And I felt an immediate change in my disposition. My emotional fortitude was instantly boosted. For we are not designed to consume what we consume these days. All the news  - good or bad. All the opinions about that news. All the reactions to those opinions or news.  In order for me to do all I am called to do in this world, I've had to build a discipline around priorities. That is especially hard for the voracious reader in me but it had to be done.

I challenge you to join me in limiting your consumption of content. You will instantly see a change in your life when limit what you allow your mind and heart to consume.

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