It occurred to me some time ago that I needed to be putting better things into my head if I wanted better things to come out of it. For months all I would listen to was the same music over and over, the same audiobooks over and over, and watch the same movies over and over. I wondered why my thinking never really evolved past where it had been. It is obvious looking back.
What you put in really is what you get back out. If you put in good, you get good in return. If you put in crap, you get crap in return. If you put in a random assortment of unconnected crap, you get an unsettled mind that can not find firm ground. But, here is the cool part: If you put in a stream filled with awesome, inspiring, instructive, thought provoking stuff….you fill in the rest of the sentence. It is like a light bulb came on in my head. What I was putting in is what I was getting out.
So, I have been trying to do this very thing. I have stopped listening to standup comedy. (There are some artists that are doing it right, but many are not. Why does it seem like a competition of who can be more vulgar or outlandish? I will save that for some other time…) I have stopped listening to some of the music that I had let slip in. For the most part, I have stopped watching TV. (I reserve the right to hang on to the Biggest Loser and the Food Network). I have made a huge attempt to remove many of the negative influences that have had a free pass into my mind.
The result? For starters my mind has found some peace. For a while I had my iPod in my ears most of the day. I wasn’t giving my brain any downtime. I take periodic times for quiet now. I have chosen some thought provoking listening (the writings of John Eldredge, Andy Andrews, CS Lewis, Mark Batterson, Seth Godin, Dan Miller, Dave Ramsey, and others). I have soaked up much of the information like a sponge. I see some of what I have read coming back through in my daily decisions. Also, I find I don’t have much bad to say about anyone. I am not putting negative into my brain, so I don’t feel the need to let negative come back out of it. There are positive ways to get through the issues.
What do you think about the most? What are you allowing into your mind that is shaping your thoughts? The good news is we can replace the negative thoughts for good ones. It takes work. It takes time to build new patterns. But, in time when we put good things in, we will definitely be getting good things out.