This is a further discussion of the takeaway idea from The Missing Sheriff. If you haven’t read the story, there may be “spoilers” below, but you need not have read the story to understand the ideas here.
The story was written as one big analogy, with the idea that the town is like your mind, or your world around you, and you are the Sheriff. You control what comes into your mind, your world, and what doesn’t.
This is an important concept for living with optimism, and positivity, and simply being happy because what we let into our World, we tend to mimic. So, if we are bombarded with things to fear and things worry about all the time, we will then become fearful and worrisome. It’s like the characters Bob and Mindy. They constantly let in and embraced the gossip from other travelers, which let’s be honest, most gossip isn’t good. They then became gossipers and fearful people. Nothing seems to capture peoples attention faster and easier than fear. Now, the point I’m trying to make here is that the negativity is out there, yes, but the positivity and optimism and love is out there too. So, it is up to you what you which you will focus on and allow into your World and also what you seek to be a part of your World. From what we watch, read, listen to, and who we spend our time with; it’s all in our control and it is important to take stock.
The message in this episode is one of the reasons for me starting the Podcast in the first place along with this blog. I want it to be one more source you can turn to every month to leave feeling optimistic, inspired, motivated, and so on. When you finish listening or reading, I want you to feel excited and pumped up to go after the things you want in life.
Like from the story, once Tom started to inspect the products he was trading for, he could make better trades and fill his store with great things to trade with. It’s the same for your mind and your life. Inspect the things you let into your head and your World and you’ll start choosing better things to be a part of your life.
How to do this?
I’ve created a very simple worksheet to help you track what you’re letting into your mind, into your World, and what effects those things are having on you. It’s very simple and you can do this without the worksheet, but before you get working on it, here are some important things to consider:
The Two Categories
There are two categories to fit things in. First are the things that we will be keeping. Those are the things that leave us feeling inspired, motivated, optimistic, happy, joyful, and loved. The second category is the things we won’t be keeping. Those are the things that leave us afraid, angry, hurt, and hateful. There are obviously a lot of different words to describe both of those categories, but I think you get the idea. If we want, we can pretty much sum each category into two words: Love and Fear
What to Assess?
So, now, what are we supposed to be assessing here? Anything you are absorbing. Books, television and movies, audiobooks and radio, music, conversations with people around you, etc. For now, the thing is to simply avoid those things that fall into the Fear category from above. We can talk further in the future about what you yourself are putting into the World in terms of the conversations you start with others and so on, but the easy place to start is with what we’re absorbing.
The hardest thing to assess is the conversations with the people around you, as that leads to the potential realization that certain people in your life are not the kind of people you want to be around frequently; therefore, people you need to remove yourself from. Darren Hardy, former publisher of Success Magazine, put it this way: He put the people in his World into categories of time. Like 10-minute friends, 10 hr friends, 10-day friends, etc. The idea was that certain people he could spend 10 minutes with before the conversation went negative or maybe it is always negative so 10 minutes is all he could spare to be around that person. Some were 10-hour friends, and so on. His approach was to not spend 10 hours with a 10-minute friend. Don’t go on a 10-day vacation with a 10-hour friend, and so on. I’ve always loved this idea.
And if I have someone in the 10 hr category, it doesn’t mean I don’t like that person, it just means that after 10 hrs maybe things get boring as we don’t click that well, and then our friendship becomes taxing and tiring. There’s nothing wrong with understanding that. In fact, keeping things in their proper boundaries can keep a friendship like that stronger and last longer.
Take a break
It can be very easy to say that something doesn’t affect us when in reality it might be secretly taking its toll. The main reason to deny it would be that we could be addicted to something, or whatever it is also brings us moments of feeling good that we’re able to make excuses for all the negative effects. The question would be, is the good that much better than the bad you get from that source?
One way to get to the bottom of whether or not something is affecting you in a positive way or a negative way is to take a break from it. For at least a week, but ideally longer, like a month. Anything less than a week is too easy and hard to feel or see any changes. I’ve used this many times before and made great realizations from it and there are more than a few things not in my World anymore as a result of this tool.
Alright! There’s the main idea, and I hope you spend this month tackling this or at the very least, keeping it as a background thought. Here’s the link for the worksheet again in case you missed it. The goal is to be happy in life and the easiest way to be happy is to be surrounded by happy things. Good luck and if you have any questions, put them in the comments section, or contact me through the website. Until next time!
All my best,