It’s an understatement to say 2020 has been a thought-provoking year. I’ve contemplated many subjects and observed where those thoughts have taken me. Reflecting back has made something very clear – what you ‘feed’ your mind is as important as what you feed your body. What you choose to feed your mind with has a ripple effect within your inner world and these ripples enhance or erode your wellbeing and influence the world around you. By choosing to place as much care and emphasis on what you feed your mind as you do your body you take direct action to improve your inner state with far-reaching consequences.
The mind is fed by focused attention. Whatever you focus on will grow large in your thought world and thoughts manifest themselves as words. Words come together into statements that are followed up by correlating actions and actions shape your reality. What you think about consumes your attention and you embody what you think about most frequently. Therefore, the consequence of a malnourished mind is diminished wellbeing – affecting you and everyone in your world with its ripples. Are you consciously choosing what you feed your mind?
When hungry you choose what to eat. Just as there are unhealthy food choices there is junk food for the mind. It’s tasty, easy to access, and quick to digest. It satisfies temporarily but leaves you feeling undernourished and hollow inside. It’s simpler to order a Big Mac and Coke than prepare a home-cooked meal. It’s easier to ‘swallow’ a trashy drama than digest an intellectually stimulating and thought-provoking documentary. Shallow talk and gossip are less confronting than philosophical enquiry and debate around politics and religion. They are equally less likely to promote any growth and change in the individuals’ engaged in the conversation. It is not as demanding to consume mainstream media as it is to do your own time-consuming investigation into ‘honest’ journalism. Same goes for the quality of music, radio, television and social media you ingest. Little of worth in life comes easy. Health, wisdom, loving relationships, creative innovation, inner peace; these require the consistent effort needed to nurture a healthy state of mind. That’s why they are rare. Most people aren’t willing to take the more challenging road. The short-term pain necessary for the long-term gain of a mature psyche.
Higher aspirations are needed if we are to leave behind the immaturity of greed, negativity, sensationalism, conspiracy, and propaganda. We must think for ourselves; speak our truth, learn from others, draw from our past, and envision the future through the use of our minds. What will enhance our intellects and inspire us to develop their full potential? I’ve been inspired since I was young by literature and story – by books. The greatest minds that have lived have also been recorded and their insights retained. Philosophy, mythology, history, science, religion, and psychology are particularly inspiring and thought-provoking. This is the food that invigorates my mind. What animates you?
Clarify your thoughts. Engage in stimulating conversation. Read interesting books. Listen to different perspectives. Feed your curiosity. There is much to learn and wrestle with and therein lies the growth. Nourish your mind and your life will reflect the quality of your consumption.