How we choose the information we allow in, does influence our lives in profound ways.
Michelle LaBrosse, CCPM, PMP, PMI-ACP, RYT
In the news lately there has been much complaint how little attention main stream media gave to the floods in Louisiana. This has spurred much conversation with my peers about how many of us have become numb to the “news,” just curating only the information we wish to receive. I’m still assessing how I feel about this. On the one hand, from sixth grade and on, it was required we stay abreast of current affairs as delivered by the local news and newspapers. We did not have 24 hour news coverage – we had the local newspaper, the local news, followed by a half hour of national news and the weekly news publications like US News and World Report. We did not have the choices, with also the opinions and bias’ of the myriad news outlets that exist now. Being a conscientious global citizen, just what news source do we trust to provide relevant, unbiased, in depth journalism delievered succinctly without wasted fluff?
We are far more informed about the slant or bias of not just the news, but also our institutions. When my daughters were applying to college, they knew the political climate on every campus and could align their choices with their political preferences. I don’t even recall that being on my radar screen when I applied to colleges in the late ’70’s – I was just looking for places that had my desired major – Aerospace Engineering.
All this information does significantly influence our day to day lives. Being an entrepreneur who lives and thrives by my creative abilities, I am very careful what type of information I consume. Over two decades ago I got introduced to a concept by Stephen Covey about the circle of concern and the circle of influence. The circle of concern are those things for which you are concerned but cannot directly influence (what the main stream media considers the “news”) falls into this category for me. The circle of influence are those things that you can directly influence. This is where I choose to put the majority of my time and attention. What can I use that will better help me deliver value with Cheetah Learning and help people joyfully and skillfully pursue their dreams? It most often is not what is considered news by the main stream media. I’ve also found the “real news” – the information that is important for me to know about current events and world affairs – I find out about. We live in a world bombarded with information – it’s hard not to know about what is going on.
I’ve also read much lately on this concept of managing the decision load for the day – many people migrate to wearing the same type of clothes, eat the same meals every day, etx to reduce the time and effort to make those decisions. For me, one of the decisions I make on a daily basis is where to focus my attention – with a very purposeful choice to avoid the main stream media. Like this morning, when I was waiting for my plane – I chose a seat that did not have a direct view of the TV that was blaring CNN with the disaster of the day they had on a recurring loop. Instead, I opted to listen to my latest download on itunes and catch up on emails.
Consider the type of information influencing you. Do you keep one media source on as “background noise, ” be it on your TV, radio, or computer? How does this influence your day to day energy, thoughts, creativity and overall well being? Does it distract you from paying attention to the information you need to focus on – like the performance of your projects? Do you curate the information that comes into your day to day awareness or allow things to float in as they may? From my perspective all of these options are valid – we each have the choice of how to experience our unique existence. What is more important is recognizing it’s our choice alone the information diet we choose and how we decide to act on information that comes into our awareness. By whom and how do you want to be influenced?
The more you know about how you absorb and process information, the more “informed” you are about how you are being influenced. One of the first courses students take to become Cheetah Certified Project Managers is on how they best process and assimilate information – they become savvy information consumers based on what works best for them. Become a Cheetah Certified Project Manager and take charge of how information influences your life.