Media Consumption, Circle of Influence and Capacity to Care
This blog is my rambling thoughts on Media Consumption habits and how it affects our Circle of Influence and Capacity to Care. It is my opinion. I appreciate you taking your time to read my thoughts and I’m interested to hear what you think and how you feel about the ideas I share below. Welcome to my world.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about media consumption habits and what is provided to my mind. I’ve been reading more Jungian Psychology and thinking about what materials I provide to my unconscious mind. I am what I eat and my mind is mix of what I feed it; the ideas, thoughts, reinforcing patterns, language and beliefs form a lens with which I see the world; My Paradigm. I’ve noticed myself talking deeply, emotionally charged about issues that are provided by the media – It may be the US election with Donald Trump, the Syrian Refugee Crisis, or Terrorism and global political instability. It feels like everything that is provided to me by traditional media is outside of my Circle of Influence or what I sometimes call the Circle of Control. It’s the circle of things that I can Influence or control. The majority of the issues presented are either too large in scope, too far in distance, or too emotionally charged for me to find a solution or for me to make any impact. Almost everything in the media that I am encouraged to get emotionally charged about is an issue that I can’t affect as an individual and is not inside my circle of control.
The Circle of Concern and Influence is an interesting concept that I learned from Stephen Covey and his book The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People.
According to Covey, highly effective people spend far more energy focusing on their Circle of Influence rather than their Circle of Concern.
The Circle of Concern encompasses the wide range of concerns we have such as our health, children, work, government, war etc.
The Circle of Influence encompasses those concerns that we have some control over.
When we focus on things outside of our Circle of Influence we focus on things that we cannot change, and thus we feel less in control of our lives. He says that this is a reactive focus and creates a negative energy that reduces our circle of influence. In my words, we essentially waste our energy and our capacity to care.
When we focus on things inside our Circle of Influence, we not only expand our Circle of Influence but we also become Pro Active or “responsible for our own lives”. The positive energy created by focusing on things inside our circle of influence essentially enlarges our Circle of Influence and our behaviour becomes a function of our decisions, not our conditions”
This makes me wonder why the majority of what I see on traditional media outlets are focused on things outside my Circle of Influence.
In my opinion, the current media environment encourages a culture of apathy; It creates a vicious cycle that promotes the feeling of not being in control of our lives by encouraging us to focus our emotional energy and care on issues outside our circle of control.
“I believe that we have a limited amount of care energy to give this world. We have a choice to focus in the moment and give this care to the people who matter. To care about ourselves, to invest in our own health, wellness, loving ourselves, and finding our true self gives meaning and purpose to our lives. To care about your family, friends, community and those who matter you must focus your limited care energy away from things outside your circle of control.” – Nigel Kay
I often sit in a coffee shop and just watch, listen, observe the conversations and feel the emotional energies surging as their physiological responses to the topics change. I see people getting emotionally charged and expressing great energy in the form of opinions, thoughts, sound bites, and arguments. I wonder where these thoughts come from. Many times I hear recycled arguments from the television, newspapers, and media sources spoken as if they are original thoughts. Occasionally, they are charged with such passion or anger. I see elders with much wealth, influence, and the ability to make real change expend their care energy not to support their local community, not to better themselves, or to support their family but to fuel a discussion towards an issue that will never be in their circle of control.
I’ve been raised in society where we’ve always been at War with an enemy I’ve never met, that I will never see, that I will never speak to, and I am taught to be afraid of. I am taught to fear and expend the energy towards issues I can never influence. I am taught to watch a box that feeds me fear, and to spread that fear to my family, and friends through discussions of politics, war, refugees, and others suffering and pain.
The thoughts that we focus on and repeat over and over again sink into the unconscious mind until they become beliefs. Our beliefs shape the lens with which we see this world. We unconsciously have media used on us as a form of auto suggestion, and when practiced deliberately and repeatedly they reinforce the chemical pathways in the brain strengthening neural connections.
I wonder when we decided it was OK to spend all of our care energy towards a viscous cycle that encourages us to fear other beings and to feel like we can’t do anything to influence it…
I realize now that when I choose to consume traditional media, I choose to fear. When I focus on this, I choose sadness and I choose to feel like I’m not in control of my own life. When I consume the mainstream media and news I choose to structure my mind to be reactive and to find external sources to focus on and blame.
But I know now that I am powerful and I have the choice. My choice is to take control of my mind. And Thus, I choose to consciously curate and consume content that supports the man that I am to be come.
By making this choice I feel that every day, in every way, I am getting stronger and stronger and stronger. I am in control of my own destiny. My Mind is no longer the playground of others fears. I am not my mind, but my mind is mine. Today, In the world that I live in, If you don’t consciously shape your unconscious mind, someone else will.
I choose to free my mind. A free mind, I am that, I am.
Exercise: Think about an example of something you were discussing from the Media
Were the things you discussed within your circle of influence?
How did discussing this issue make you feel about your life and how in control of your life you are?
These thoughts did you get emotionally charged about them?
Who provided you with the thoughts that you get emotionally charged about?
Are you aware that what you feed your unconscious mind builds your paradigm, or the tinted lenses with which you see the world?
Do you consciously curate media with intention, or are you fed fears?
Is your capacity to care directed towards issues within your circle of influence?
Is your care energy, or your emotional energy, directed towards issues of your own volition and mind or are they issues provided to you?
How does your media consumption affect your Response-Ability or your ability to choose a response to a situation?
How does Response-Ability and ability to feel in control and have power over your own life shape your identity, ego, unconscious mind?