Are they informing you or are they attempting to brainwash you? Hmmm.....
Let's take a step back in time. I grew up reading the newspaper and watching the evening news. Many of you did the same. I was taught directly and indirectly that I should stay up with the news of the world. It was my civic duty as an American citizen. Well, I did just that for about 30 years and then I stopped. Why? I came to the realization that the news was being selected for me. Selected?
Every article you see in the paper, every link you see on the internet, every story you see and hear on the television and radio, and certainly every story on the many social media sites has been selected from thousands and thousands of other stories from all over the world. Why were those stories selected? Are those stories the most important ones? Or, are they simply the ones others wanted me to read/see/hear/feel?
It hit me one day that I was allowing others to influence my worldview as I consumed one newspaper, one website, one channel, and any random social media story that came along. Why would I do this? One, I was not paying attention to the brainwashing that was going on. Two, it was easy; especially if I was reading information that confirmed my viewpoint (confirmation bias (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias) ). It was time for a change. A BIG change!
I stopped reading newspapers full of negative information and polarizing political views that simply caused more negative emotions, than positive, well up within me. I started viewing different sources to get different views rather than one view. I saw Fakebook (no that is not a typo) for what it really was. A platform for people to spout off about anything, causing issues and pain between friends, family, and frenemies.
I decided to start exposing myself to the wonderful things happening in the world rather than the negative. The negative news is good at painting a portrait of what is wrong with the world, but they do a piss poor job of telling you what is right with it. Once I started to focus on the positive, the negative news lost its control on me. I started seeing the beauty in the world and its people. It was a life-altering shift.
That approach changed my life and it can change your life when you are open to the idea of being more mindful of where you receive the information that informs you about the world. You start to see a different world. You see a world of hope and compassion. You see a world of kindness and gratitude. You see a world full of amazing people doing some pretty amazing things. Basically, you see the good in the world.
So, how does this relate to personal finance to include investing your money and reaching financial freedom? It requires you to sacrifice today for a better tomorrow. You need to believe in a better tomorrow! This is why you save 20% of your paycheck. This is why you invest a large chunk of your capital in businesses (stocks in an index fund). Those decisions require you to believe in a brighter future.
Please allow me to share some factual information that the negative news does not share with you. People throughout the world have never had so many opportunities for a better future life. In the U.S., we have never had so many opportunities and possibilities for changing the future direction of our life and the lives close to us. We truly live in an amazing time. We are lucky and should be grateful.
So, how can you start to see this world that I see? Cut way back on your exposure to the negative news. That means minimizing TV, Newspaper, Fakebook, Twitter, Radio, etc. The less the better. Step back and look at the people who surround you. If they regurgitate the negative news, cut back on them as well. Those sources create a cancer within you that grows bigger by the day. Stop the growth!
Start the growth in a different way. That means replacing the negative news with the positive news that can be found easily when you open your eyes and actually look for it. Surround yourself with the people that will remind you of the wonderful opportunities you have in this great country of ours. We are fortunate. Unlimited possibilities to an amazing future sit at our doorstep. Open that door!