wellness, mental images, dataspheres

In Pursuit of Wellness: What You Put Into Your Mind

In Pursuit of Wellness: What You Put Into Your Mind

A mind is a terrible thing to waste! Your mind is, without question, your most valuable asset. Lose everything but your mind and you are capable of rebuilding your life and restoring your fortunes. Lose only your mind and you lose all sense of purpose; you become incapable of building or retaining anything.

Most people, unfortunately, take more care in what they put into their trashcan than in what they allow to enter their mind. They absorb whatever audiovisual input is offered to them without giving a thought as to what effect the images will produce either in the present or in the future.

When I was a child I was not allowed to go to horror movies. Films of the 50s were mild compared with what is offered today, but they were capable of making a lasting impression upon the minds of their viewers. I felt cheated at the time, since I was at a loss when my schoolmates were discussing Dracula, Frankenstein and the Wolfman, but I now appreciate my parent’s wisdom in the matter.

My parent’s influence had a lasting effect. I have continued to avoid horror movies, that is to say I have attempted to avoid them. I have occasionally found myself unexpectedly exposed to images of immeasurable grotesqueness and they linger in my subconscious, occasionally bobbing to the surface where I must once more deal with their sickening and chilling impact.

One such image was introduced about two years ago. It was the holiday season and my son-in-law and I decided to go to a movie. I had been seduced by a heart-warming promotional clip of The Green Mile, starring Tom Hanks, whom I have enjoyed in other films. I failed to notice that the story had been written by Stephen King, recognized as one of the masters of the horror genre.

I anticipated an uplifting story of the relationship that developed between a prison guard, played by Hanks, and a gentle death row inmate who had been falsely accused and convicted of murder. I was unprepared for the images of an electrocution gone awry, which I will carry for the remainder of my life.

Gruesome visual images are not edifying, but there are subtler and more serious threats to mental health and overall well-being. These come in the way of unspoken themes or messages that underlie entertaining movies or other amusements.

I encourage you to approach amusements with caution, looking for the hidden message. Once you understand what the word amuse means you’ll understand the reason why. To muse means to be in immersed in deep thought. The prefix a means without. Thus to be amused means to be without deep thought.

There are times when it is nice to be relaxed and not thinking deeply about life, but there is a darker side to the term amuse. Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary reports that the term arose from the practice of diverting one’s attention so they could be deceived. Think about that. Do some amusements really divert your attention so as to deceive you?

Randy Gage is a very successful businessman and a dynamic trainer in personal growth and business development. He is a master at detecting the hidden message. His oral review of the movie Titanic is not only hilarious, but insightful and instructive as well.

Most people saw the movie. It was one of the most successful in recent years. Ask the average moviegoer what the film was about and he or she will tell you that it was a touching love story set within the tragedy of the sinking of the Titanic.

Randy Gage looked beneath the music, the emotion and the special effects to discover the subtle yet powerful messages that the film was promoting at multiple levels. The primary themes of the movie were that money is bad, rich people are evil, and it is spiritual to be poor.

Jack Dawson is a delightful, happy-go-lucky young man because he is poor. He won his ticket in a card game. Rose is despondent and suicidal because she is marrying someone who is rich. She is about to sell her soul for money. The people in the first class dining room are boring and self-absorbed. In the third-class compartment there is dancing and fun and freedom. The rich selfishly struggle and steal babies to get in the lifeboats, but Leonardo selflessly gives his life that Rose might live. At the end of the movie, rather than give her priceless necklace to her devoted granddaughter, Rose throws it into the ocean in a final renunciation of the evils of wealth.

Gage has coined the term “datasphere” to describe the many sources by which our mind is being programmed each day. The datasphere includes many sources of information including, but not limited to, your parents, friends, family and teachers, the government, religion, the Internet, newspapers, magazines, television shows, radio programs, movies, voice mails and books.

Unless you are making conscious efforts to control the information entering your mind from the datasphere you are being programmed to fail. You are being taught that you are powerless, that external forces beyond your control determine what your life will be like. You are led to believe that your success depends upon whether the stock market is moving up or down, upon whether the Fed is raising or lowering interest rates, and upon whether the government decides to raise or lower taxes.

Unless you make wise choices you are being programmed to believe that your level of wellness is largely a matter of chance. You will develop arthritis because your job requires that you stand 6 hours each day. You are going to have a heart attack because your cholesterol levels are too high and your career is too stressful. You are losing your wit and memory because you are growing old. You are going to go blind and die of cancer and there is nothing you can do to stop it!

I want you to consider that there are really two dataspheres, an external datasphere and an internal datasphere. The external datasphere consists of all the messages that you receive from outside sources. The inner datasphere consists of the messages you receive from yourself.

The inner datasphere is the most influential. Whether you realize it or not you talk to yourself constantly. What you say to yourself is what determines what you believe and how you will live your life.

Several years ago someone interviewed a number of athletes who were experiencing varying levels of success in their chosen sport. It was found that the level of success correlated directly with the level of confidence found in the internal datasphere, in the self-talk.

The most successful athletes were constantly telling themselves that they were the best, that they were unstoppable. The baseball player who stepped up to the plate saying to himself, “I’m going to hit this one out of the park!” inevitably had a better swing, a higher batting average, and a greater number of home runs than the player who told himself in the on deck circle, “Don’t strike out again this time!”

The point is that what you allow into your mind from the external datasphere provides most of the resources of your internal datasphere. If you associate with people who regularly throw out deprecating remarks you are likely to tell yourself that you’ll never amount to anything. If you listen to news programs that talk about how poor the economy is or how the next election is going to affect your life you’ll begin telling yourself that you are powerless to raise your standard of living. If you watch movies and TV shows that portray marriage as an antiquated institution in which men and women destroy each other your own marriage will eventually crumble.

The good news is that you control your internal datasphere and that you can determine a great deal of your external datasphere as well. As the quality of one datasphere rises it will naturally improve the level of the other. When you begin telling yourself, “I love my spouse,” you will no longer enjoy watching fictional couples denigrate each other. When you begin reading books that speak of unlocking your potential you’ll begin telling yourself, “I can do better.” When you begin telling yourself, “I am a success,” you’ll start looking for motivational or inspirational tapes that will take you to the next level.

Decide to manage your external and internal datasphere today. Make edifying selections. Do the same tomorrow and the day after that. Make it a habit. Your wellness depends upon it.

© 2007 Wellness Clubs of America.com

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