Post #68. Coping With Information Overload Elegantly

“The problem is not information overload, it’s filter failure.”
– Clay Shirky

Nowadays, its so easy to drown in all the choices, stuff, opportunities, thoughts, dreams that are presented to us, through social media, movies, books, podcasts…

This is all great but…

See… If we’re standing in the valley, looking up at the mountains we wish to climb, trying to choose what mountain to commit to, it can actually be really cramping… confusing… and overwhelming…

And… now, more than ever, the feeling of overwhelm seems to be a daily visitor for many.

I mean, right me if I’m wrong… Perhaps this is not the case, but I remember countless hours sitting in front of the computer, watching youtube video after youtube video, never feeling really satisfied…

There’s so much out there… How does one choose?

But, this in no news to you…

We’ve all noticed how much information, answers, solutions, how-to’s, ideas exist in abundance, just at our fingertips… Yet we sit there and… with a feeling of overwhelm or cramp, don’t do anything…

Because… doing takes risk…

Doing is not guaranteed to work…

Doing might make us look really silly…

But nothing worthwhile comes without sacrifices… 

This is not the case for everyone of course, but for many, and I think we all are, in some way vulnerable to the information overload that is surrounding us from all sides.

It jacks us up and we loose the very focus and presence that we all want to see in another…

Instead we are easily distracted and constantly pulled in different directions by the next piece of news, information, product, deal, gossip…

Nowadays we have so many choices to make… 

Choices about what to eat…

Choices about what to wear…

Choices about what to do…

So… How do we make good choices… That’s the question isn’t it…?

HOW TO MAKE GREAT DECISIONS
To me, a great decision comes down to the level of awareness that precedes the decision…

And with awareness I mean, awareness about the consequences of that decision…

For example: If we take a painkiller every time we feel a little bit of a headache, that is a sign that we lack awareness about what might be causing the headache in the first place… Someone who’s level of awareness is raised will try to treat root causes instead of symptoms, because it makes sense to them… Perhaps drinking some water, breathing more slowly and deeply, going out for a walk or taking a nap would make sense to them…

And how do we raise our level of awareness? (this is a fancy word for “knowledge” in this case)

Here’s what has helped me on my journey to make more informed decisions:

1. Education
Oh my goodness… I don’t know where I’ve been if I hade not encountered great human beings like Robin Sharma & Brian Johnson and more, people who are definitely committed to serving others, and want to optimise the use of their resources like energy, time and focus…

Also all the podcasts with interviews, with interviews of people who have gone before and know what it means to “climb a mountain”…

If they are sincere,  and they often are, this raises your awareness a great deal…

But be aware, sometimes raised awareness can make things more difficult… Because those around you maybe don’t share your journey of raised awareness… And to them it might look like you have gone crazy… They might tell you to relax your standards…

Some resources:
Optimize.com (great summaries of books on audio + pdf for 10 bucks/month)
* Knowledge for Men (podcast for men, but applicable for everyone)

2. Asking people
Something I’ve done lately, that has made an enormous difference is to interview people I look up to. Even if it might be a bit unorthodox, I started with interviewing a colleague that I really looked up to. This was such a great experience for me so I decided to continue interviewing people whom I in some way looked up to.

3. Try it out
If you never try, you’ll never know…

Some things we just have to try out… What I’m talking about here is for example, passions, dreams, values, attitudes…

Trying is about not postponing the decision that you’ve been romanticising, but actually trying it and getting emotional feedback on what the activity, thought, choice gives you. Does it drain you or does it make you feel more alive and whole?

I recommend doing a 7 day challenge where you try the goal in some way…

Whatever you think that you’d like to do, be, create… instead of postponing it, as many do, give it a real try… See what it feels like to be, do, create this thing…

Me writing here is for me, kind of a “trying” just to see how it feels, getting emotional feedback on the choice of action or attitude that I’m trying…

Back to the quote we started with:

“The problem is not information overload, it’s filter failure.”
– Clay Shirky

Raised awareness is that filter for you in this age of dramatic distraction.

It’s all about clarifying to ourselves what matters to us… Instead of listening to the buzzes and dings of society’s expectations and ideas about what a great life looks like…

We can either live a life where we’re hunting to meet the expectations & values of society, or we can live life where we listen to what WE care most about, and stay true to that.

***

How can you increase your level of awareness you can make more genuine, healthy decisions? 

How can you educate yourself more on the areas that you care about? Health? Relationships? Serving? 

Who could you ask for advice and be vulnerable to? Who is where you want to be? Ask them about there journey.

What ideas is it high time to try out and get emotional feedback on?

***

Take care! 

With love.

– Daniel Galovan

PS. If you’re reading this, please be aware that this is simply a way for me to process ideas, learn and get emotional feedback on what it feels like to put words to stuff that I believe could be interesting to talk about… Focus, purpose, peace, action, passion, authenticity, communication, learning, dreams, direction, starting, growing, and so on…

But as I’m sharing, I’ve noticing that I actually have some things that I really care about… I can feel it as I’m writing about it.

Digging deep within to find what really matters to me… (It’s working!)

These topics, issues and little nuggets of passion & inclinations, I believe will be focused upon and worked upon on a deeper level, further along the path… Those who live shall see. 🙂

So, excuse me for my rambles & fuzzy explanations… I just don’t want “perfect to be the enemy of good.” 

Right Voltaire? 😉

Take care!

 

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