Good morning! I hope your day is starting off nicely.
Yesterday, somebody mentioned that Facebook has gotten extremely polite lately, with fewer argumentative posts and a lot more pictures of babies and kittens. Somebody asked the question, “Is it possible they finally put a stop to the monster they created?” Because that’s how it works. When you can’t stop writing nasty letters, you blame the people who make pens.
Well, let’s agree on one point. Social media is nothing more than a platform on which we can share thoughts. There’s no inherent requirement that we pick fights or debase those who disagree with us. We do that all on our own. Social media just allows it. Kind of like a mother watching her two kids punch one another. “As soon as this is over, you’re both grounded!”
When I first started writing motivational posts, I noticed within a few weeks that my daily feed had gotten a lot more positive. People weren’t arguing. They weren’t looking for reasons to be offended. And it was entirely possible to celebrate a birthday without the conversation devolving into a political debate over which party wants us to live longer.
I remember thinking, “I’m making a difference! People are reading my posts and becoming more positive!” Okay, every writer wants to think they’ve touched their readers in a way no other person ever has. That’s why we do it. Believe me, it’s not for the money. And the last time I checked, there’s no line of groupies waiting by the front door.
After a day or two of basking in my newfound greatness, it occurred to me that just maybe the reason I was seeing so many more positive posts is that all of the negative people on my feed had unfriended me. One even offered the theory that maybe I’d joined a cult. You know, you could hand some people a bag of gold and they’d complain about the weight. Oh well.
The truth is, when I began sharing inspirational messages, I also cleared my “friends” list of anybody who couldn’t share a recipe without a political dissertation, whether I agreed with them or not. I needed a break. In a week’s time, I unfollowed close to 200 people. So, I guess it’s no wonder I was only hearing from positive people. They were the only ones left.
Dave Barry once wrote, “I can win any argument on any topic, against any opponent. People know this and steer clear of me at parties. Often, as a sign of their great respect, they don’t even invite me.” I think there’s a little more wisdom than humor in those words. Come to think of it, I haven’t been invited to a party in years. Um, hello?
But the point is simple. If you want to reduce the negativity in your life, change the channel. Step away from negative input and look for something a little more worthy of your time. “But I need to know what’s going on in the world!” Okay, but there’s a difference between consuming news and drowning in it. Especially when the “news” is somebody else’s biased opinion.
Your mind is like a computer. Every bit of input it receives is stored away in permanent memory that, at this age, I can’t seem to access as easily as I once did. But it’s there. And as new ideas are received, they’re validated against all that data we’ve stored over the years. If it matches what’s already there, it’s stored as “fact.” Everything else goes into the “BS” file.
That’s great if you’ve been filling your brain with positive thoughts. That becomes your basis of truth, and your brain will subconsciously seek out proof of that mindset. If, on the other hand, you’ve been filling it with negativity, it’ll seek validation of that as well. Either way, everything we see and hear is run through the filter we’ve already established in our mind.
It’s why one person sees a storm on the horizon, and another sees the blue sky overhead. They’re both looking at the same sky. The difference is one expects storms while the other expects sunshine. And expectations are nothing more than regurgitations of what our mind has been programmed to believe.
Shut out negativity, and your daily “feed” automatically becomes more positive. Challenges become opportunities. Despair yields to hope. And you realize that, behind every cloud, the sun still shines. It’s not about denying facts and living in a world of delusion. It’s about equipping your mind to work through life’s tribulations to find the happiness that awaits those who do.
As a technical writer, I had a sign over my desk … “Garbage in, gospel out.” Sure, it’s funny until you realize I wrote aircraft maintenance manuals. But our brains work pretty much the same way. Garbage in, gospel out. Make sure you’re storing information worthy of remembering. Your happiness depends on it.
That’s all for now. Have an awesome day!
© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reservedFollow @dglardon