The Radical Alteration from One Baby Step
About two months ago I made a radical change in the form of one baby step. The result was a shift in my worldview, I dropped ten pounds and have never been happier in my life.
The baby step came in the form of no more television. According to positive psychologist Martin Seligman, watching television for extended periods of time is the equivalent of placing yourself in a mild state of depression. Apathy follows.
It may seem simple enough to snap off the TV and do something else, but what happened thereafter for me was life-altering. Instead of flopping in front of the tube every night, I began writing more, eating less and sleeping better. I’ve even started learning French, thanks to supportive friends who have helped me tremendously (je vous adore!). It is as though I have fully recognized that how I spend my time really does make a difference.
And it shows.
My negative emotions, while not completely eradicated, have receded to the background. Sure, I still get upset with my kids, but I am no longer subjecting myself to the constant barrage of negativity that comes from the TV.
I had no idea how impactful one decision could be.
It may seem paradoxical for someone who actually works in television and film not to want to actually watch it. I am still impressed by images on the Internet, occasionally read the newspaper and peruse business Web sites to keep up on the latest developments. But abandoning my nightly tube-watching has uplifted my spirits and has had a centering effect on my well-being.
When we look at our habits, we may think we can’t live without certain things. We may be so convinced of their inalienable place in our lives that we don’t even question the habit itself. But I bet you anything there is something you can do without and that will actually make you feel better once you depart from its stranglehold around your neck.
What happens next can be quite amazing. Suddenly new people emerge to cheer you on in your new-found authenticity. Perhaps they have been there all along, but you felt you didn’t have the time to pay attention. Or maybe they are new friends you’ve discovered because you’ve magically got so much more time through that one baby step to really enjoy them.
It is an endeavor worth pursuing. What baby step can you take today to make that radical change?
Jeff KentJuly 17, 2012 at 4:23 am
I read this and thought to myself, this lady gets it. About 2 years ago I quit playing World of Warcraft because all it did was suck my life away. I said, “I’m going to write a novel.” And then I did it. Now I’m working on another book. Publishing will come later, or not, who cares, at least I’m doing something active with my life rather than sitting around. Oh, and I watch way less TV now than I ever did before.
You go girl.
powerofslowJuly 17, 2012 at 5:08 am
So encouraging, Jeff. Good for you!! Thanks for your contribution. 🙂
Melinda Gustafson GervasiJuly 31, 2012 at 1:58 am
I gave up TV (with a few exceptions, such as the Presidential Address) following 9/11. It was simply too depressing. I opt to get my news from NPR and a few web sites. Congrats on taking such a great baby step. And keep writing, I’ve discovered you blog and really enjoy your reflections.