The other day I was in conversation with friends, and we were talking about ‘world affairs’.
But the most interesting part of that conversation – for me – is how do we stay informed, without being consumed by a whole bunch of ‘bad news’?
And what do we mean being informed?
Is it informed for interest sake?
Is it informed, so we can make informed decisions in our own lives?
Is it informed so we can sound like we know what’s going on in the world to impress our friends?
And how informed do we need to be?
Lots of questions, and playing around in them can make your head spin.
So in this article I want to give you my thoughts and perspective on how to stay informed, to what level, and in a way that is beneficial for you and your lifestyle generation, plus in a way that you don’t lose your sanity, or sense of life being something precious.
Useful stuff (to be informed of)
My thinking is there is stuff that is okay to be ‘generally’ informed of, and then there is stuff to be more deeply informed of.
I want to be more deeply informed in the issues that may impact me DIRECTLY (e.g. global financial stability, freedom of movement, etc.).
I want to be generally informed of issues that don’t impact me directly (e.g. conflicts, humanitarian issues, politics, etc.).
It might be that I pay attention, with my available energy (and eyeball time), 80% plus to the things that can impact me directly, and 20% or less, to the things that don’t impact me directly.
I still care about what’s happening to my fellow global citizens around the world, but I realise there are some things I cannot impact, somethings I don’t want to get entangled in, and others I care about less than other personal priorities in my life.
So that is Part 1.
Getting clearer about what is important for you to stay aware of, as it may impact you and your family directly.
An example for me might be food security, food supply, and food supply-chain issues.
Which is a catalyst for me deciding I would like to grow my own vegetables and have chickens for their eggs.
Here is the challenge (well more than one)
Obviously one of the challenges is wading through the information coming at you from all directions, to get a sense of what seems logical and what seems like a whole lot of dramatic, grandstanding B-S.
That bit is not easy, and we probably all have our preferred sources for information.
I haven’t watched mainstream media for about 24-years now, so I seek other sources where I feel there is more integrity, and less profit-driven reporting. And fortunately these days there are many quality alternatives, due to public demand.
So, challenge 1, is sorting through the information.
The other challenge I wanted to highlight and it might be the main theme.
How do we seek information in a way that doesn’t consume us, burn us out or suppress our optimism on the goodness of humanity?
Here is what I recommend (for myself as well):
- Limit your exposure time to manageable chunks.
- Only get into the ‘heavier’ stuff when your frequency is high (that is, you are pretty grounded and calm).
- Stop if you feel your energy drop too low.
- Choose to view information with curiosity, and less judgement.
- Balance out this ‘research time’ with time outdoors, grounding on the bare earth.
- Speak with trusted, open-minded friends about what they are seeing and perceiving.
- Don’t get into this stuff before bedtime (no ‘news’ before bed – ever!).
- Ask yourself if a topic (or issue) is likely to affect you directly, and if not, consider parking it and changing where you are focusing your attention.
- Talk to friends that might be more expert than you on a subject (e.g. financial investing or relocation nationally / internationally).
- Ask your partner or a grounded friend to call you out, if you get too ranty, hyper-fixated, or loopy.
- Take a week or few break from looking at any heavy stuff.
I really think this is an important subject to discuss, as it can have a huge impact on our mental health in the short and long term, and be an important part of making informed decisions about our future.
We just need to do it in a way where we can stay grounded.
Where we put our attention on what is important.
And we need to call a “TIME-OUT” if we are feeling ‘depressed’ by what we are seeing, hearing or reading.
Get back to nature (to learn from her intelligence and care-less-ness).
Get back to the ‘now’.
Get back to gratitude (for what you do have).
And take your energy back up to high frequency.
My Parting word
I am not sure about you, but I think my optimism took a bit of a ‘beating’ over the last few years.
Also my nervous system was challenged.
So I now need to do 3 things (better).
- Power up my energy to higher, more stable, frequencies.
- Be more discerning about where I place my attention.
- Limit my exposure time to the things that can ‘bring me down’.
There is definitely plenty happening globally these days.
But we are also exposed – due to modern communications channels – to stuff happening on the other side of the planet, which we would normally have no exposure to 20-30 years ago.
Maybe the world is not as disruptive as we think.
We just have more inputs, more frequently, than ever before.
So…stay conscious of how you engage with world affairs.
Spend more time with things that directly impact you.
And less time with stuff that is interesting, but a bit fearful, and not directly impacting you.
I hope this conversation was of value to you.
(and your sanity!)
And feel free to email me directly if you have any comments or insights you would like to share.
On that note…
Have a conscious-attention-directed day, and a intentionally grounding week.