You want to be happy.
You want to have a positive attitude and live your life enjoying what is in front of you. Unfortunately, you might be held down by circumstances in your life that you aren’t even aware of.
Garbage In Your Life Is Holding You Down
Why are you being held down? There’s a phrase in computer science which goes “Garbage In, Garbage Out”, or GIGO. It means that if you put crap in, how can you expect to get anything but crap out?
Wondering why your code isn’t compiling? GIGO.
Wondering why that torrent you downloaded made your computer mess up? GIGO.
Wondering why that dating site promising that an elf priestess would show up to your door if you paid didn’t return on it’s promises?
You get the point.
All a computer knows is what you tell it to do. It needs programming and software. If you put in bad information to a computer, all it can do is output bad results. You need a good calculator program that does math correctly to get the right answers.
Now imagine your brain as a computer. Imagine that whatever you feed it, in terms of experiences, thoughts, information, and activities is all it can turn out. If you focus on doing things that make you happy, the positives in life, the possibilities… guess what kind of feelings you receive?
On the other hand, guess what happens if you listen to demeaning criticism, spend your time slogging in front the TV (OK OK once is a while is fine…), and so on? It affects your mind which in turn affects your body, health, and happiness.
I mean our brains think and produce output just like computers, but they are far more beautiful and complex. Computers cannot touch us… yet :p.
Finding The Sources Of Negativity In Your Life And Eliminating Them
So this is all nice and well. “Noam I understand that if I put in shit, I get shit out. How do I look out for this GIGO and start cleaning up?” Where’s our virus scanner and detector for our body?
Here are some things to start doing:
1. Not associating with negative people
Complainers, those that are happy just scraping by, people who (negatively) criticize you, people who don’t lift you up… What the hell is the point in being brought down by them? Focus on the few people who make you feel amazing and don’t let anyone else in.
If you can’t get rid of someone completely, such as a family member, then limit your contact with them. This sounds selfish but you have to look out the most for yourself and your well-being. You can’t be afraid of hurting someone else’s feelings.
2. Observing and letting negative thoughts pass
We may have more than 50,000 thoughts each day , but the negative ones seem to be what catch our attention. We seem to dwell on them:
“I can’t do it.”
“He probably doesn’t like me.”
“I might fail.”
Start looking for all those positive thoughts and stick with those. Learn about re-framing a situation. Learn about how gratitude can help you be happier from moment to moment. Learn to breathe, and let go.
3. Getting away from the news
What makes most people stick to the screen? Information about car crashes, fights, and strife. That’s what the news typically plays. Tragedy sells.
Get away from there.
Start relying on other people to tell you if something important is going on, or use things like the uplifting news Sub-Reddit to get your fix.
4. Cutting out shitty food
Garbage (McDonald’s, deep fried onion rings, processed sugar) in, garbage (sugar crashes, upset stomach, bad mood) out. Start eating whole foods. Take 2 hours on one day and cook your food for the week, storing it in your fridge or freezer for use. That way, you can quickly put meals together, and don’t have to worry about eating poorly.
Side benefit – it’s far cheaper than eating out all of the time.
How To Input More Good Energy Into Your Life
Once you start eliminating these toxic sources your level of garbage in should decrease. But, how can we start to input more awesomeness and good to get that out?
1. Watch motivational speeches
These guys are paid to motivate and inspire you. I recently started listening to the speeches at the gym and oh boy do I feel AMAZING afterwards. I might even start listening to one every morning. Some popular speakers to check out:
- Les Brown
- Anthony Robbins
- Arnold Scharzenagger
You can just search inspirational speeches and add their names at the end. Or, pick a subject you want to be inspired or hear them talk about, and Google or YouTube their name with that at the end.
Here’s one of my current favourites:
2. Clean up your place
Unfortunately I have construction going on at my new place and everything is a mess. I have to work elsewhere everyday otherwise I can’t organize my thoughts or mind. Messy environment, messy mind. Keep your place clean, organized, and get some damn sunlight in there.
3. Get outside
Speaking of sunlight, we spend so much time in cubicles and offices bombarded by artificial light. Get outside and stretch your legs, breathe in the air, walk around some green space… As a byproduct you will feel more relaxed and present. I am fortunate enough to have many parks and a waterfront nearby that I can enjoy.
4. Positive slogans/backgrounds/notes and Affirmations
Another idea is to stick positive affirmations around your work place, house, and as backgrounds for your computer. You can also use images of places you’d love to visit, or things that inspire you. These should be personal and related to things you’re working on incorporating into your. Some of mine include:
- “This too shall change – It’s not a big deal”
- Screenshots of my degrees
- “Don’t let idiots ruin your day”
- “Follow your passion and success will follow you”
- “Just do it”
5. Uplifting music
Violent and harsh music will affect your brain waves. I used to listen to lots of metal, with screaming, chugging guitars, and some questionable lyrics. I refuse to give it up for drumming (I haven’t found anything that matches the technicality or energy. If you have something, tell me!). But during my work day or while relaxing, I’m usually listening to ambient electronic, EDM, or softer rap. It makes me happier, more relaxed, and more productive.
Of course the music types are different for everybody. Some people might prefer classical or country… The point is to find music with a positive sound and message.
Get rid of the garbage that you are putting in
Replace the garbage with good things
Feed good things into your brain and body
. Davis, Bruce. There Are 50,000 Thoughts Standing Between You and Your Partner Every Day! Retreived from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bruce-davis-phd/healthy-relationships_b_3307916.html on October 2nd, 2014.
I love the GIGO analogy. And it’s true! What we take in consciously and what we expose ourselves to subconsciously or unconsciously affect us. Better to work on making those positive things so we feel the benefit instead of feeling dragged down. It does take work, but you have some great steps here to change the balance.
Exactly :). Or as Buddah said, “All that we are is a result of what we’ve thought”, so if we’re constantly drowned in negativity, worry, etc. that’s going to impact us as well.
Might as well try to control as much as we can to make life as good as possible, so fuck the McDonald’s!