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Monday, August 29, 2011

Well, Irene is, for the most part, history.  The last week has been filled with so much hype and frenzy about this storm.  Fueled by the Weather Channel's continuous coverage of this storm and their labeling it things like "storm of your life" many people -- including myself -- found themselves worrying about the weather.

Now I am not going to go on and on about the Weather Channel -- there are many other blogs1 doing this already

What I am going to go on and on about is you.

After all this is not the first "event" that had what I would call over-exaggerated coverage aimed primarily at increasing ratings2 and as a side effect creating panic in the minds of many people.  We watched/listened/read/tweeted about it with the debt ceiling debate.  We watched/listened/read/tweeted about the stock market a few weeks ago. 

If the evening news is any indication of what we surround ourselves with, America is addicted to hype.

I have three words for you:  UNPLUG YOUR TV!

A few weeks ago I did a one week news fast as part of a Mastermind Group I facilitate.  We were reading "The Four Hour Workweek" and this was one of the challenges.  I discovered I missed nothing.  Absolutely nothing.  Zip. And this was in the midst of the "stock market crash."  I did get something out of that experience:  more focus and peace-of-mind than I have had in years (outside of hiking/backpacking and a Vipassana retreat).  Because my mind was not distracted with silly -- I mean really silly -- data, I was able to focus more on my coaching practice, marketing, planning, blogging...!

And yet, somehow, I managed to get sucked into the hurricane hysteria.  And for at least 5 days had this uber-vigilant thing going on in my head distracting me from what I needed to be focused on and tiring me out.  Yes, this over-abundance of news hype is exhausting.  I could have been out hiking the Long Trail instead of fretting!

So I am back to abstinence from news media. And want to invite you to come along.  Try it like I did for one week then post your comments.

Here is what you do:  No TV, radio, news magazines, RSS feeds, iPhone News Apps. Nothing. If you feel like you are going through massive news withdrawal, then you can ask a friend.  Say, :"Hey, I have been really busy lately, anything of note going on in the world?"  Do this for 7 days.  Keep aware of your emotional state, your productivity, your focus, your passion -- keep aware.  After a couple of days you will see something different.  

And I -- as well as readers of this blog who are not challenging themselves with this task -- want to know  (Post your comments!)

After 7 days, the questions to ask yourself are:  

  • So what?
  • Did I miss anything? 
  • Why do I need all this "news"?  
  • Is it really that important?

I look forward to reading your news in the comments below!


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