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Leadership Thought #327 – Avoid What’s Not Good For You

March 29, 2012

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When something is not good for you there is usually a symptom or other sign.

I was speaking with a colleague the other day and they said that watching the news only depresses them and puts them in a bad mood.  I asked him why he watches it then and he said to stay connected to what’s going on in the world.  Sometimes we do the wrong things for the right reasons.  There are many other ways for him to stay connected to what is happening in the world besides watching network news.   If what you are doing is making you feel unhappy and/or increasing your negative stress, then maybe it’s time to make a few changes.

The news media is an easy target these days, but there are many other things people do that make them unhappy, such as:

  • Letting advertisers dictate how they should feel about themselves
  • Committing to fad diets that will never work for them
  • Reading books they think they should read even though they don’t understand or like them
  • Drinking too much because they don’t know how else to have fun and it’s easy to do
  • Regularly treating food as a source of pleasure or reward rather than a means of sustenance
  • Taking on exercise activities that don’t interest them or that are ill-suited to their physical reality
  • Treating their faith as an obligation and chore rather than looking for divine inspiration, etc.

I find that people doing things they really don’t want to be doing only makes them cranky and more stressed.  Oddly enough, they often will recruit others to join them in their misery.  I am always a bit suspicious when someone tries too hard to convert me to their latest fad, behavior, or point of view.

I am not saying that everything should feel good.  Life does and should involve a certain amount of stress, hard work, and sacrifice.  However, when what you are doing is having the opposite of the intended effect then something is wrong.  There are only a few things all of us as human beings must do to survive such as eating, drinking, and sleeping.  Most other activities are a choice.  If your job is making you miserable, then find something else to do.  If there are relationships in your life that are toxic to your well-being, then find other people to interact with.  If you are practicing unhealthy lifestyle behaviors that are starting to have adverse consequences, then find other healthier ways to live that work for you.  “The proof is in the pudding.”  If it makes you feel better about yourself physically, spiritually, emotionally, or mentally then that is a good sign.  If it makes you feel worse, then the universe is trying to send you a message.

Avoid what’s not good for you, it’s better than the alternative!