the source of revolution


Stop an addictive habit and replace it with an inspiring one

Besides substance abuse, what is the most destructive habit or addiction?

I would say that since mid-2015, the number one destructive addictive habit for many Americans has been following the national political news.

And I’m not throwing the word addiction around casually. According to the American Society for Addictive Medicine:

“Addiction is characterized by the inability to consistently abstain (from a substance), impaired behavioral control, craving, decreased recognition of significant problems with one’s behavior and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response.”

Are you addicted to national political news?

Here are some telltale signs:

If you don’t read, listen to, or watch political news every day, you feel anxious and deprived.

Political news grabs your immediate attention and it’s hard to turn away.

You can spend hours reading, listening or watching political news, even if there is a lot of repetition.

Your involvement in political news takes you away from more productive and rewarding activities in life (not to mention advancing your business and marketing).

You can find many thoughtful articles on political news addiction online, just google: “political news addiction” and read a few.

This is my perspective, and it is very personal.

As a political news junkie for the last three years, I’ve seen the costs and would like to share what I’m doing to combat this addiction, and how I’m replacing it with something more inspiring.

Step 1. My first step about two years ago was to cancel my cable TV subscription. I watched up to three hours of political news shows every night. He was getting toxic.

I replaced cable TV with subscriptions to Amazon Prime, Netflix, Acorn, and CBS All-Access. My wife and I now watch quality programming on our schedule with no commercials and no political shows. (Yes, even this is slightly addictive, but much less toxic.)

It can be a challenge to remove CNN, Fox, MSNBC, etc. but in a week or two you will notice a big difference in your well-being.

Step 2. More insidious perhaps, is the prevalence of political news online. On my iPad I had bookmarks for 12 different political websites, and I scanned them daily, reading the most current articles, sometimes for hours on end.

Ultimately, this wasn’t much better than watching TV. She often read several articles before starting work each morning. How depressing, and what a great way to suppress my creativity and productivity. It was really starting to show.

With the help of a coach, I chose a new online activity to replace reading political news articles.

It was a simple and easy change, actually. I’ve replaced all my political bookmarks with links to articles and information that inspire and uplift me and help me feel more creative and productive.

Of course, there are endless sources of material like this online, but I have two that I consider to be especially potent antidotes to political news addiction. – For me, Medium is the best place for articles of general interest, with tons of great ideas on personal and business growth.

My current favorite Medium writer is James Clear, who writes on: “…subjects like health, happiness, creativity, productivity, success and more. The central question that drives my work is: ‘How can we live better?’ To answer that question, I like to write about science-based ways to solve practical problems.”

In my opinion, your articles are tremendously insightful and always leave me thinking of new and exciting possibilities.

Right now, my main substitute for checking political headlines every morning is reading an article or two by James Clear, even before I get up. In no time, my brain has clicked into “creative productivity mode” and my day takes on a more positive and energetic shape.

If you’re not convinced by James Clear, simply use the search function on Medium to find articles on any topic under the sun. Just avoid politicians! (However, even on that topic, you’ll find more interesting and thought-provoking articles than on most news sites.)

This certainly beats the “Oh shit, what are they doing now? We’re all screwed!” mentality that is generated by reading political articles that tends to nullify creativity and productivity.

Another great source of inspiration are ted talk videos Most are less than 20 minutes long; all are thought-provoking and many are inspiring enough to spark new ideas and possibilities. You can start with the 25 most popular Ted Talks of all time.

Political news addiction is real. And if you do, it’s harming you in some way, either subtly or obviously. And the best way to change an addictive habit is to replace it with a positive one. I urge you to give this approach an honest try.

The inspiration for writing this article came from an article by James Clear that I read this morning on how to change a bad habit. Thanks James!

Regards, Robert


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