By Josh Bryant
What do you think about fatherhood?
The more you watch TV, the more you probably think of dads as incompetent, foolish and disconnected from their children.
What about when you hear the word “old”?
Do you see a senile, inept, Viagra pill-poppin’ fool who suffers from an alphabet soup of mental and physical ailments?
Like Al Bundy’s portrayal of fatherhood, depictions of the aging, particularly in television media, follow a specific formula. Aging characters are not viewed as wise and experienced but as ancient saps that don’t know shit from shinola!
These insinuations program the subconscious mind into a negative view of aging.
And, remember, your subconscious mind sees it as a moral issue to align with your self-image.
Back in 2005, a group of researchers from Yale studied 76 television viewers, the researchers found that the subjects that watched the most TV had the most negative view of aging conversed to less frequent television viewers.
So why does this matter?
Plain and simple—it’s mental conditioning. What makes it scary is it is mental conditioning the subjects are participating in without their knowledge!
Sans intervention, the more folks are influenced by television, the greater the belief that aging is a reverse of fortune!
You are the Michelangelo of your own life, you are paining and consistently updating your self-portrait daily. Unfortunately, the greater the magnitude of negative influences, the greater the snow ball leading to self-destruction.
Your subconscious mind must morally align with your self-image (its job is to protect you), thus you have, in turn, created your future destiny without knowingly consenting.
The flip side is thinking aging automatically leads to wisdom is a Pollyanna fantasy.
I have coached at a high school in both California and Texas and can unequivocally say the worst coaches were the ones that had been there for decades; if I ever hear “we’ve just always done it this way” as an acceptable answer to an issue, I will be writing these newsletters from a jail cell. On the flip side, the best ones were also the ones that had been there for decades!
This means without proactive steps, you become more of who you already are, the negative mindset in the beginning becomes super jaded over time. The growth mindset in the beginning and maintained becomes an immortal legend!
Having the right mindset
about aging will help you gain wisdom and a greater understanding of society and
how you fit in to it and, ultimately, your role in helping it. In theory, as
you age, you should become less stressed and better able to take things
Changing how we think about aging can have a overpowering impact on our health!
Another study at Yale, where researchers questioned over 600 people, 50 years of age and older, on a survey about their perceptions of getting older.
And the results were astounding!
Those who had a positive
outlook had much lower insistences of cardiac disease, better cognitive
function than their more negative parallels, and had a higher probability of
recovering from illness or injury.
The biggest finding – those with a healthier view of aging lived longer. The median survival rate for this group was an astonishing 7.5 years longer! In other words, changing one’s beliefs about aging seems to be a better predictor of longevity than more traditionally thought factors like socioeconomic background and gender.
Al Bundy is not just to blame!
Admittedly, bad stuff does happen fast where as good things generally take more time to unfold, hence not being in line with the news cycle. What if a news cycle came out every 50 years, would it report which celebrity was in and out of rehab for the umpteenth time? The latest political scandal? Or would it look at increased life span and drops in violent crime?
Plane crashes and shark attacks make the news—car crashes rarely do! Many people thus have a fear of flying or swimming in the ocean but logically analyzing odds they are much more likely to die in a car crash!
What about tornadoes? They kill 50 people a year in the US and terrify people, yet 4,000 people yearly die of asthma!
People are 27 percent more likely to report having a bad day if they watch the news—I am not saying to quit watching the news all together, I am saying staying glued to its fear mongering tactics and frankly often inaccurate reporting 24/7 is not good for your mind!
Guard your heart, garbage in means garbage out.
If you are feeling surges of pessimism during this time, I recommend cutting out television and engaging in mood-elevating activities. These include, but not limited to, exercising, writing in a gratitude journal, prayer/meditation, listening to mood elevating music, calling an upbeat friend or family member or anything else just to make you laugh.
According to Dr. Phil, the best way to predict someone’s future is look at their past; unfortunately, he is more often than not right.
There is another way—decide what you want your future to look like. As you start to see what it looks like, feels like and sounds like, with repetition, your subconscious mind will align and you will become that person and to start to live it now.
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