Vibrant technicolor swatches dance endlessly in front of your vision while talking heads babble until there is no more to say. In this age of twenty-four hour television, Wikipedia and its random-page function. Unlimited music with only one click and more information available than could ever be written in physical books, it’s important to understand where our boundaries are.
Day after day, we are taking in hoards of talking points, ideas and abstractions without questioning. Our favorite TV shows peddle jokes laced with popular culture and political subtleties. Oftentimes it’s hard to filter out what’s actually important when we’re being bombarded constantly and continuously. Before the why, we must first explore the what.
What is Clouding My Perspective?
Take some time to write down everything you saw and heard for an entire week. Skimp not on the detail, my friend. Our brains are extraordinary organs in the way that our memories tend to form more strongly with events that give us emotional reactions. Even if you hate this article, you’ll remember it more clearly in your drunken rage than if you’re merely apathetic. Get mad, do it.
While you’re writing down every single sentence that was carelessly flung toward your unsuspecting ears, I dare say you’ll realize the enormity of the task rather quickly. I think, with a side-sauce of chagrin, upon my own experiences daily with sitting in the lounge area at my place of work. People talk constantly about anything and everything. Afraid of the silence and the existential bogeymen lurking within their own thoughts, these men with far too long ear-hair reminisce about the OJ verdict and the best way to toast bread until the clock on the wall itself jumps from lonely perch to hang itself with its own entrails. There’s a picture for you.
Why Should I Filter My Perspective?
For your health. For your happiness. For your sanity. Taking the time to discard whole chunks of what is presented to you in your everyday life is enormously helpful. It’s not as simple as merely trashing every viewpoint that runs counter to yours, as much as learning to process what is useful, productive and healthy instead.
Imagine yourself as someone who has never watched the news before. You’ve never seen how many shootings are happening in the city, how many kids are being abducted, how many schools are underfunded and how the local labour union is going on strike. Imagine you were wholly disconnected from those ideas. What about instagram and twitch? How many users are vying for your precious attention that have absolutely nothing of use for you. It’s staggering, really. This isn’t simply an “ignorance is bliss” as much as it is understanding that knowing how much crime exists does not help you in any palpable way.
Knowing that there are car thieves on the loose will not save you from having your car stolen. What are you going to do, sit in your firebird with a loaded revolver in case the punks dare to try you? Pffft.
The common fallacy I hear as to why it’s important to watch the news, read the newspaper and spend hours online trawling through random articles (like this) is that if they didn’t do this, they’d feel like they’re missing out on the something.
To be extremely blunt, that genocide situation going on two thousand miles/leagues/furlongs away from you has nothing to do with you. While you’re sitting there fretting with your conscience about something you’re realistically going to do nothing about, you could be thinking about the people in your life actually can affect. Your mother, your wife, a coworker. That panhandler you see at the supermarket every Sunday. Narrow your perspective and focus on the important things.
By filtering what you see, hear and ultimately feel, you gain a measure of control over your life. How you feel leads to how you will act in the future and thus defines who you become as a person. Regardless of your age, it’s beneficial to gain an awareness of what all you’re taking in on a daily basis.
How Can I Focus My Awareness?
Food isn’t the only intake you should be watching. What your eyes see and your ears receive is equally as important. Just as nearly every man or woman I’ve ever met feels they could gain or lose a few pounds, so too can your other sensory input be so maintained.
- Step One: Identify which emotion you’d like to feel more or feel less.
- Step Two: Record what you were doing directly before feeling your targeted emotion. Triggers.
- Step Three: Cease your behavior or change your response to said trigger.
- Step Four: Find out if you’re a better person or a scumbag now, then go back to step one.
By treating our information and sensory input as we would an extremely fatty pizza, we can begin to find an emotional balance in our perspective and life overall. This is most certainly not an entreaty to become an ostrich with head buried piteously. Nay, I encourage you to reach out and get to know the people you see every day. I encourage you to take note of how your television programmes are making you feel. Who and what are you surrounding yourself with? We are, after all, extremely sensitive creatures, so take care of what you consume, dear human.