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If you want to have the body of a professional athlete, you need to put in the appropriate nutrients to make sure that your body can build muscle, repair damage, have and access energy and operate at peak performance under high stress conditions. Similarly, if you want to have a successful mind you need to be feeding it the right psychological foods (and I don’t mean things you put in your mouth and swallow, though having a healthy diet increases mental alertness!)
We live in a society where we are constantly bombarded with information – television, advertising, and especially the internet tell us what we should buy, where we should shop, and who we should purchase services from but more importantly than that, behind every message there are a whole range of assumptions and presuppositions that to even process the message you have to at least temporarily accept.
As an example, let’s say there’s an advertisement that is selling a burger by saying that it “Tastes great!” The main assumption there is that you select what food you eat based on taste! A much healthier subconscious message to convey (and one that’s getting a lot more common in Australia at least) would be advertising it as “healthy”. The assumption behind “healthy food” advertising is that people are looking for something that’s good for them and that will nourish their body, a much better message than working on taste alone!
This might not seem like a big deal, but when you start to look at the assumptions behind advertising for products like make-up or weight loss, or the ideas represented in movies and TV shows. The majority of sit-coms project absolutely TERRIBLE mindsets to millions of viewers worldwide. What’s worse is that movies and to a lesser extent TV shows are designed to have viewers psychologically associate themselves with their characters. The effect of this is a powerful unconscious suggestion of disempowering psychological traits constantly bombarding the majority of the human race – not the best news for us as a species!
To give an example of what I’m talking about – look at the TV show Seinfeld. It’s a really funny show, but none of the main characters are particularly well adjusted. I understand that’s where a lot of the humour comes from; the situations caused by their dysfunctional relationships – but that only serves to make the show that much more dangerous because when we laugh at something we instinctively let our subconscious guard down. In the same way that racist or sexist jokes can be quite damaging, comedies that cause us to associate with dysfunctional characters can instil some pretty unresourceful mindsets!
Fortunately there are a few positive influences around, and YouTube is a great one. There’s plenty of speeches or programs by people like Tony Robbins, Jim Rohn, Brian Tracey, interviews with people like Will Smith, Bill Gates and Richard Branson for you to fill your brain with positivity.
My challenge to you is this: for the next thirty days, cut out any media that you haven’t pre-screened as positive. I’ve included a list of things that are great to watch or listen to below in case you’re not sure of the kinds of things you want to be feeding your brain, but ultimately the decision is up to you. Write down a list of limiting or negative beliefs or mindsets you have. Make sure you’re only feeding your brain mentally nourishing food and then after thirty days check your list and see how you feel about it.
If you feel like you need a helping hand sticking to this challenge for 30 days, don’t hesitate to send me an email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Ted Talks (ANY of them!)
Vince Lombardi’s Number One Speech
Any of the articles here>.
The Pursuit of Happyness
Pay It Forward
Lord of the Rings trilogy
I’m sure there’s plenty more, but that list should get you started. Happy thinking!
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