I wrote a previous article about how I was shocked to find some people here in New Zealand don’t actually have their own TVs, simply because I found it weird not to have one at all. I used to watch almost all the dramas and some comedies on TV and actually loved them. This particular love I got from my parents as a preferred way to relax after a day’s work. I was even glued to “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” no kidding. Initially a way to also make me feel relaxed, later on made me jealous of other people doing more things like traveling and landing their dream jobs.
But last year especially, I particularly observed that most TV programs don’t have valuable content anymore. Those dramas on TV made me experience unwanted negative thoughts and dramas in my own life to the point that if I continued on this, my life would have turned out differently. At one point I even dreamed of having a career as an actor. But now, except for cooking, traveling, DIY, science, nature, and medical related programs, and my love of writing, most of them are not valuable to my personal growth anymore. This time I’m yearning for more good stuff, and this year 2015 is the year to put my time to great use.
Instead of reading news stories on TV and through mobile phone apps and websites, particularly while commuting to work, I commit to reading a book or listening to few TED talks each day. Most of the books read and reviewed on my blog I borrow from the library. I super love books and libraries! I can easily spend the whole day reading a book or two there and just get out when I need to eat. And so this year I aim to borrow and read more books than last year or even the year before.
I’ve started listening and watching TED talks on my smartphone, and it’s freakin’ amazing!! If you haven’t heard of it, it stands for Technology, Education and Design, a nonprofit organization where people are invited to speak and share their views to help change the world. The topics range from creativity, social media, politics, personal growth, science, and many others. The speakers are very knowledgeable and some of them you may recognize. A former work colleague introduced this app to me about a year ago but it’s only this year I decided to start listening to these talks. So awesome how many things you can learn while driving or commuting to work and back. You can find the app in both Android and iPhone, and the website is http://www.ted.com.
Another thing I’d like to waste my time on is reading newspapers. The online version I mean, also through websites and apps. I realized the longer I read those current events, the more negative my brain and overall outlook gets. Although there’s nothing wrong in wanting to know what’s happening locally and around the world, I also realized we need to look at the bigger picture. Yes, these things are happening all around. Yes, we need to be careful. However, the bad news about airplane, car, ferry/boat/cruise accidents shouldn’t deter us from traveling locally and around the world. Nor should the terrorist attacks or random killings make us not go out and enjoy life anymore. Sometimes reading about these things make me include those affected in my prayers, because I do believe that everyone deserves a good life.
In order to remind myself to read the good stuff, I only go to the Lifestyle, Life + Style, Wellbeing, and Travel sections of the online newspapers. I also read a few articles from Philippine newspapers, but mostly focused on what other Filipinos have achieved overseas to simply inspire me to do better.
There are times old habits sneak back, and they do trust me, but when you consciously decide to turn off the TV and do more activities that make you happy, you will eventually let go of watching TV and be more happy with your life.
I only mentioned TV and newspapers because I don’t read magazines that much. Most fashion magazines only feature Caucasian models, not many Asians, and so cannot relate to whatever makeup trends they advised. There were few times last year I’ve browsed through magazines, but only focused on life stories and advice. Would be lovely to subscribe to Oprah magazine, but since she has a website, I can always read there anytime.
With music, although I still listen to popular songs, my tastes have evolved to include relaxing music such as bossa nova and electronica, among other genres. I’m still exploring and will let you know what I found in future posts.
With regards to movies, I have since given up the horror/murder mystery genre long ago as I’m a bit sensitive to thoughts of someone pointing a gun or knife at me, even the gun releasing a bullet. When those thoughts appear, and they still sometimes do, I imagine many angels protecting me from those bullets and knives to calm myself.
How about you? Are you in the same situation as I am, striving to quit the bad from TV, newspapers, magazines, and possibly movies and music? If so, how did you do it? Which of them you have subscriptions? Kindly share any tips by commenting below this post or through any of the social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google +, Pinterest, YouTube) so we can all learn from each other and help each other do more productive endeavors.