There are around 650 million obese adults in the world and almost 7.9 billion people have obese minds. Yes, I made up the second estimation myself, but I believe it to be true. If one thinks of it, we spend most of our waking moments consuming information; life advice from someone we admire or the latest self-help book, the latest Instagram post of our crush, news and goals based on what others have achieved.

This barely leaves any room for our opinions, our advice to ourselves, and goals we really want to accomplish. As a result, we often tell ourselves that ideas we receive are a conformation of our own ideas, motivation for our goals, and we believe ideas to be great without even contemplating them.

We stuff ourselves with so much information we forget ourselves and start believing ourselves to be the blend of information we consume. We don’t give space for our own ideas to bloom. Our ideals or the authors of self-help books have not discovered the secret to living the perfect lives, nor are the people on Instagram and YouTube always happy or motivated, though we believe we know it, we often forget it when we consume this information.

Another problem with consuming a lot of information is that we waste a lot of time and energy, sometimes thinking that we are investing it. This time and energy could have been used in production instead of consumption. Producing does not only give us an insight into our own ideas, but also helps us contemplate ideas from other sources and pick from them.

Consumption of information is not bad. It exposes us to new ideas and beliefs, but similar to food overconsumption and not picking the right things leads to mental obesity, symptoms of which vary but often include self-doubt, frustration and a lot of confusion. I follow a piece of three-step information when consuming information:

1)     I ask myself if I am consuming the information for entertainment, to learn or to serve a particular purpose? If the information at hand is a source of entertainment, I try to do it consciously and try to make sure I do not have pending work (though I sometimes cheat regarding the pending work😊). If I plan to consume the information to learn or to serve a purpose I move to the next step.

2)     In the second step I deal with consumption regarding learning. The question I ask myself is: Does the skill or information I am intending to learn to interest me enough to make me stick to it long term and put in consistent efforts to improve? If the answer is yes, I go ahead, and if it is a no, I move to the third step.

3)     I ask myself two questions in this step a) Will the information serve a current purpose or will learning from it help me in my present goals or work? B) If I am learning because it will serve a purpose in the future or just because it may help me in the future? If the information is serving a current purpose, I go ahead. If learning something will serve a purpose in the future I do it, but if I find myself doing it because it may help me, I often stop.

I think consuming selective and less information will change one’s life drastically and help us be more productive. The shedding of the extra weight will also help our brains move faster and efficiently.

Come on, it’s time to go on a diet!

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Samarth Khanna

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