The number-one thing to filter out if you want more equanimity in your life? The news! Epictetus had it right: “You become what you give your attention to… If you yourself don’t choose what thoughts and images you expose yourself to, someone else will.” He also said that if we wish to improve, we must be content to be clueless on extraneous matters— the chatter, the idiots, the breaking gossip and the trivia that everyone else obsesses over. Not only does the news cost us our peace of mind, but it actually prevents us from creating real change, right now. Being informed is important… watching the news in real time is not how you get there. If you’d turned off the news in the US in March, what would have missed? You’re still supposed to wear a mask, it’s still wrong to be a racist, still wrong to loot or burn, incompetent leaders are still incompetent. But if you’d spent that time productively working, what could you have accomplished? And how much less anxious would you be?
By Ryan Holiday in 10 Ways to Find Stillness in Turbulent Times