No News Is Great News

Stop Watching the NewsA seemingly small decision as had a very large impact on my level of motivation, optimism, and success in living a positive life. I decided to fast. Not from food but from news and sports. I stopped checking CNN, FOX, my local online newspaper, and ESPN. I also stopped listening to sports talk radio in the car.

I knew the same thing that you know and that is that the news is negative and depressing. But, like most people, I was hooked on knowing what was going on at all times. I don’t even know how many times each day I would check CNN and ESPN but it was well into double digit numbers! This would be one challenging addiction to break.

But after two weeks I am happy to say that I am now addicted to not knowing what’s going on in news and sports.

Also, unless you actively trade on the stock market I would recommend staying ignorant of that roller coaster. I have no idea if I’ve gained or lost money in over a week. But it doesn’t matter because I’m leaving my money where it is anyway. It is very freeing to not have my emotions jerked up and down by Wall Street.

There are many reasons that no news is great news. I’m going to address the one that was the tipping point for me:

The news creates adversaries of us all.

Blacks vs. whites. Hispanics vs. Asians. Muslims vs. Christians. Rich vs. poor. Republicans vs. Democrats. Men vs. women. Mac vs. PC. The list is a long one. More problems are created by how the media reports a story than the actual story itself. For example: During the course of a year whites kill blacks, whites kill whites, blacks kill whites, blacks kill blacks. Whites AND blacks also kill virtually every other race that they interact with. That’s because people kill people. It’s always been that way and probably always will.

The incidents are isolated but continue on a fairly predictable schedule. It is a sad reality of life on this earth.

A problem develops when these incidents are blown up and made to appear common and the norm for most people every day. This creates the illusion that we’re adversaries.

However, the norm every day is that most people are making a concerted effort to earn a living and live peaceably with those around them. We’re really not adversaries at all. We’re friends! But that doesn’t make for juicy news.

This adversarial illusion is also created in politics.

It’s not juicy news when Republicans and Democrats work together to make our country better. CNN and FOX show headlines of name-calling and hatred between the two parties. How is it supposed to make us feel being told that our leaders are working so strongly against each other? But are they really?

Aren’t most of them really trying to work together to make for a better country?

I’m a Christian. Does every Muslim really want me dead? Do I really need to view every Muslim as my adversary?

Religion is certainly an emotional topic and guaranteed to evoke strong feelings and responses. No matter how passionate we feel about how right we are we must still live together on this planet. It makes more sense to try and live in peace. Yet, both sides blame the other for loss of life. Religious wars will go on but does it help me to see the bodies and hear the details?

This adversarial illusion has now reached the most insane level in the world of sports.

Maybe second only to religion is how passionate people feel about their sports teams. The creation of an adversarial spirit has reached the point where stories of violence are becoming more frequent. Imagine that people can be provoked to kill someone because they’re wearing the jersey of another team. How crazy is that!

All of this reminds of of when I was a kid and loved professional wrestling. Back then it came on TV on Saturday mornings and I rarely missed it. I passionately cheered for the good guy wearing the white mask (His name was Mr. Wrestling.). It was real. Or so I was made to believe.

I would learn as I grew older that the combatants on the screen were really friends and would go out together after their “fight.” Their adversarial roles were created by the media to keep me all worked up and coming back for more. I did. Until the lights came on for me and I stopped wasting time watching wrestling.

The lights have now come on for me regarding the news and sports. I’ve stopped wasting my time with it. I love this new sense of freedom. Maybe you don’t need this freedom. But if this all resonates with you I would recommend giving it a try.

We’ll never stay motivated to live a positive, healthy life as long as we view the world through an adversarial lens. For the most part we’re all friends. Let’s get motivated and live that way.

“The most important decision a man will ever make is whether he lives in a friendly universe.”   – Albert Einstein

More on this topic:

Want To Be More Innovative? Don’t Watch The News

Why You Should Stop Watching The News

Why Avoiding the News Makes You Smarter

Matt Cutts 30 Day Challenge: No News

News is bad for you – and giving up reading it will make you happier

Despite All the Depressing News, The World Is Not Getting Worse, It’s Getting Much, Much Better