As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do.
~Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919)
Terry Brock, Contributing Writer Mar 27, 2014, 11:30am MST
I usually write and speak about connecting. As a marketing keynote speaker, I encourage people to connect on social media, in physical meetings, over video and in other ways. Connections make life enriched.
Today I’m encouraging you to disconnect — not from each other, but from one of the biggest time wasters for most Americans: Television.
Come on. Be honest. How many programs have you watched in the past 30 days that you can honestly say are A+ quality according to your own standards? How many quality interactions could you have had with friends and loved ones, but you were watching some dumb TV show?
This step can be a big one in life, but it can help you to free up time, money and energy (TME) to achieve goals you’ve wanted to reach but just didn’t have time.
Recently I was talking with my editor, Ed Stych, here at the Business Journals. I happened to mention that I cut off my cable TV and got rid of my television sets years ago. When I explained to him how it has transformed my life, he was curious and asked me to write about it.
So, you’re getting this column from me encouraging you to try something that might seem radical, but has benefited me and many others enormously. My post-TV life is filled with more peace and less stress. Instead of numbing my mind with the latest sitcom, I engage in activities that enhance my life, such as reading great books and spending time with people who are important to me.
I’m not on a crusade to get you to ditch your TV. I just want you to consider the possibilities of swapping hours of mind-numbing B- and C+ activities (according to your own rating) with A+ activities. These could include reading quality books, spending time with precious loved ones and friends (even through Skype, Google+ Hangouts, GoToMeeting or that old-fashioned device people call the telephone), or other activities that you rate as A+.
Disadvantages of watching TV
- Time Waster
Who really cares about that dopey sitcom that you missed? Or the news? Will it matter a month from now about that accident over on the west side of town? The worst is watching a group of journalists talk about what could happen with an election. Would you watch a recording of those journalists talk about who might win the next election from 2005? Who cares?!
- It hurts your mind – literally
Consider the psychological effects of TV. According to Dr. Daniel R. Anderson of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, television violence increases negative behavior. “Most researchers now believe that the evidence is about as strong as the evidence that cigarette smoking causes lung cancer.” Be careful what you put into your mind as much as what food you put into your body.
- It’s expensive
Think of the cost of cable, TV and more. Yes, cable costs are rising, but what about the hidden costs –- the extra junk you buy that you really didn’t need after seeing the ads!
Outstanding benefits of disconnecting from TV
- Enhance your life
You can read more life-enhancing books, listen to quality music, and enjoy truly educational and enriching videos with the time you save.
- Boost sales
Think of the process of feeding your mind with educationally-rich learning material that can help make a difference in your sales. YouTube is packed with some of the greatest sales videos of all time. Watch them! I especially like my buddy Jeffrey Gitomer’s sales training videos.
- Spend time with loved ones
Talk with them instead of just sitting next to them. Carry on a live, human conversation (I know, it’s strange today, but try it!).
- Develop new skills through courses and study.
Today’s world demands on-going education. When you can learn a new skill that your competitors don’t have, you gain.
How to do it
I went cold turkey. I thought it would be scary at first, but it was just fine — even enjoyable. Now, I have a much happier life. I read quality books that help in business and my personal life. I watch quality life-enhancing (largely educational) videos on YouTube that enrich my life.
If you’re not ready to go cold turkey, try unplugging your TV. Put a blanket over it! Do something that makes it difficult to flip on and enter “mind numb” zone.
- Watch carefully-selected video
Watch YouTube channels that contain information you won’t get on TV. I’m not saying ditch all video –- just the wasteful programming that doesn’t help you achieve the life you ideally want.
- Read more!
Find those books that are “must read” for you in life. Ask the Top 10 people you admire and aspire to be like what books they consider “must reads.” If you note that several of your Top 10 favorite people are recommending the same books —you better read them!
- Take control of your mind
It will surprise you how much you begin to change in other ways, such as getting healthier, smarter, and maybe even boosting your sales!
Terry Brock gives real-world, practical tips on how to generate revenue and increase productivity. He works with businesses from sole proprietors to Fortune 10 companies, teaching them how to use social media, technology and plain ol’ stuff that works. He’s the co-author of the McGraw-HIll best-seller “Klout Matters” on social media. Brock is an international Speaker Hall of Fame member and sports a very good haircut! You can reach him at 407-363-0505 and Terry@TerryBrock.com.
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