What is in Your Mental Diet?
If I asked you to describe your current diet you could probably tell me, with reasonable accuracy, the types of foods you have been eating. On top of this, you could probably also tell me how this diet correlates with your current health. If you are overweight, you can probably trace it to poor diet and minimal exercise. Good health would indicate a good diet and exercise. Most people focus at least some energy on controlling the foods that make up their physical diet, but rarely does one find a person who exerts the same effort in controlling their mental diet. In stead, we have become so complacent with the mental foods that we feed our minds, and so we essentially open our most precious resource to be infected by influences that are not within our best interests.
So what is your mental diet? What books do you read? What magazines do you subscribe to? What are the websites that you frequent? What kind of conversations do you have? What music or podcasts do you listen to? What do you watch on the television? What celebrities do you follow or admire? Knowing the answers to all of these questions should give you a pretty good idea of your mental diet, and then you can decide if you are feeding your mind junk food or health food.
Jim Rohn had an excellent way of describing how you should go about training yourself. He put it in very simple terms. For example, if you want to be happy, study happiness. If you want to be wealthy, study wealth! If you want to be good in relationships, study love! And my favorite, if only for comical value, was something that Jim Rohns mentor said to him; “find out what poor people read, and don’t read it!”
It seems so simple, but it works. If you want to be a positive person you should simply find out what negative people feed their mind, and don't feed your mind the same. At the same time, find out what positive people feed their mind, and do the same. Duplication is one of the more simple strategies for success in any area, and it works!
As I mentioned, each mental food that you feed your mind is either junk food or healthy food. A personal development book is healthy food for the mind. A tabloid or gossip magazine is like a packet of potato chips; delicious and fun, but very bad for your mind. Having a conversation with a friend about new opportunities or a new idea is great mental food. Gossiping about neighborhood scandals is poor mental food. Watching a documentary is good mental food. It grows the mind. Watching the Kardashians is like junk food and it will damage your mind.
Whatever we are doing, we must truly understand this simple fact; our minds are never stagnant. We are never standing still when it comes to the development of our minds. Our mind is either growing and becoming more effective in our efforts to find happiness, success, love, and freedom, or it is dying and building negative habits that are degrading to our overall fulfillment in life. The sooner we realize this, the sooner we will begin to take control of everything that we feed our mind.
Begin at once to take control and really be intentional in the food that you feed your mind. When you start to see the results, which you will, your life will never be the same. You will gain an incredible amount of self respect, and respect from those around you, when you can show that you are fully in control of the influences that enter your mind. The universe will stop at nothing to create a path for the man or woman who lives a life of intention.
I want to leave you with one of my favorite quotes, from Jim Rohn. He wrote; “Pity the man who has a favorite restaurant but not a favorite author. He’s picked out a favorite place to feed his body, but he doesn't have a favorite place to feed his mind!”