As I mentioned a couple days ago, I've been interested in minimalism lately as a way to increase the signal-to-noise ratio in my life. It's a way to focus on the important and cut out distractions. One of the biggest challenges I've been having is that of information withdrawal.
On any given day, I normally consume a lot of information. This is normally in the form of RSS feeds, YouTube channel subscriptions, research articles, and books. However, it is also comes in a few other varieties, such as television shows and movies. To me, this is just a form of intellectual consumerism, no different than the person that is addicted to buying new shoes or outfits every day.
There is nothing particularly life enhancing about consuming so much information from a huge variety of sources. It is just a way to cover my own insecurity about knowledge and intelligence. I always figure that even if I meet someone who is naturally more intelligent than me, there is no excuse for not knowing more information than them. It is similar to the athlete that decides they will simply outwork their competitors.
While information knowledge can be really beneficial to people and enhance many aspects of life, at some point it becomes too much. I do not need to know the latest updates on 50 different topics and not receiving those updates shouldn't damage my ego.
Consumption vs. Creation
In fact, cutting out the consumption of information allows for more time to create and produce new information. The hours I normally spend consuming information can now be spent writing and making friends with real people in real life. Or simply enjoying the awesome weather I've been having in my area of San Diego now that it's spring time.
The main point is that information consumption should add to your life, not be a form of anesthesia for an ego that is insecure about looking unintelligent or less knowledgeable than others. I now believe that I will learn and consume all the information I need in the process of creating and helping others learn. If I'm not learning information for a particular use then why bother spending time on it in the first place?
Choosing Information Sources
Since I am now consuming much less, I am also trying to be more effective at choosing informational sources that give me the most "bang for my buck". In other words, I want sources that I can learn many different skills from. Because of this, I am choosing individual persons whom I see as mentors or coaches and who I would like to emulate in the future.
So for me, that has included a very short list so far. They include:
I have chosen them because they are all individuals that have created a strong brand for their own name. They are business owners that basically sell themselves and create their livelihood around writing and teaching others over the internet. Along with a strong online presence that allows them to essentially work from anywhere in the world with just a computer, they are all interested in fitness and health, another avenue I'm very passionate about. Therefore, I can get personal lifestyle design information and business design information at the same time. If I am able to do for education what any of these five people have done in their respective fields, I would be completely satisfied with my professional life.