Are you being choked by the weeds of information? Richard Saul Wurman, in his book Information Anxiety, said that “a weekday edition of the New York Times contains more information than the average person was likely to come across in a lifetime in seventeenth-century England.” With so much information, advertisements, conflicting views and other noise jostling for our attention, you need to actively filter out the useless from the useful. And how do you do that?
Well…it’s through a little process I call Information Gardening.
For those with green thumbs out there, or even if you’ve just blown the seed heads off of a dandelion, I’m sure you can attest to how quickly weeds can spread. If you passively sit by and do nothing, eventually those weeds take over.
Think of yourself as a plot of fertile soil; Every bit of information that’s out there, every thought and idea that enters your mind, is like a seed. Since childhood, your family members, friends, teachers, society, and yes even Hollywood, have been sowing seeds in your garden. What you’ve nourished or even passively allowed to grow has determined your present opinions, mindset, habits and values. Because you allowed them to take hold, some became weeds – noxious, infective, and very difficult to remove. These have been the cause of such things as your bad habits, low self-worth, and lack of prosperity. On the other hand, perhaps some beneficial seeds were sown as well, which established their strong, deep roots and bore delicious fruit.
Your current situation is determined by your ability to cultivate the right seeds
There are those that choose not to tend to their plot of soil and allow whatever lands to take root. With time, the weeds take over developing an impenetrable strand of detrimental thoughts, habits and values. Unfortunately, many people fall under this category. They prefer not to take the time and effort required to develop their own mindset or to establish a crop of healthy habits. They’d rather idly sit in front of the television and let the world dictate how they should act and who they should become. They are the individuals that are blown here or there by the latest fad, style, get-rich-quick scheme, self-help craze, doctrine and so on. Slave to their habits and slave to the world.
Then there are others who are aware of every seed that tries to take root, and will quickly eradicate what is detrimental, only allowing what’s useful to grow in its place. Instead of only passively accepting whatever idea comes, they actively plant what they find beneficial and further nurture the bits of information that seem to ‘by chance’ spring out from nowhere. They create beautiful vineyards and orchards of constructive habits and purposeful lives, full of abundance and prosperity.
Be Active in the Winnowing Process
So how do you separate the wheat from the tares? Well, it really comes down to being actively involved in this planting process. If your soil is going to be seeded anyways, you might as well be the one doing the seeding, don’t you think?
Just because there’s a volley of information coming your way, doesn’t mean you have to process all of it. Be selective in what you allow to take root. So much time is wasted on meaningless information which could be spent in the building up of others and yourself. For example, I don’t watch the news anymore, let alone television. So much of the news now is becoming more and more like a mixture of MTV and the NFL highlights – full of flashing lights, moving banners, and heated debates, designed to keep the overstimulated masses’ attention and increase ratings more than provide any real value.
Learning to accurately choose information that is truly helpful will come when you can honestly answer the following question: Do I really think this will raise my consciousness, benefit me, or improve the lives of others? If you can answer this with a ‘yes’, then you can be sure it’s a seed worth trying out. Then, through personal experimentation, you will come to know if it’s a good seed worthy of your nourishment.
Another way of saying this is: be selective in your brainwashing. One of my friends once told me that the fact that I believe in God and am religious is because I’ve allowed myself to be brainwashed. I laughed at him and responded, “am I no different than you? The reason you started smoking was because at one time you thought it was cool. Didn’t society or your peers brainwash you in a similar way?”
When the Sower is the Universe
According to the Law of Attraction, we draw to ourselves what we think about most. The Universe will manifest whatever your intention is. So be aware of that. If you desire to have abundance and prosperity in your life, and you focus on that desire through your intentions, be ready for those seeds to land on your field. They always do. The converse is also true. By focusing on the negative, the seeds of negativity will be sown.
Whatever grows in your garden is up to you. Remember, it’s never too late to start the weeding process and begin to cultivate your own vineyards and orchards of success.