Who Influences Your Thinking?

I watched an interesting TED talk recently. It spoke about inspiration and how artists steal bits and pieces of inspiration from everywhere and incorporate it into their work.

It got me thinking. We live in an information-rich society. Information is right at our fingertips and never before have we had so much of it at our disposal.

I also recently read that there's now five times as much content in the world as there was in the mid '80s. Just thinking about that gives me a headache. 

Due to the magnitude of information, or content, we nowadays struggle with our ability to focus. We're always on our phones checking mail, looking at tweets etc.  This means we seldom take time to reflect on the information we're reading or watching and, more importantly, whether it matters to us or not.

The influencers behind the message

Let me put it another way - behind most good content there is a person putting it together. Here's where it gets interesting, the really good content isn't just churned out, it's well thought out. If it’s done properly, it's inspiring, challenging and thought provoking. The key is to apply it, not just read it.

The trouble is that great content is often stacked amongst other bits of noise. You notice it, but you don't focus on it. You just don't have the time because you’re moving on to the next thing coming your way, right?

So here's my challenge:

1. Take a few minutes out of your day and think about who influences you. It could be a blogger, author or even a film director. 

2. Write down one thing about each influencer you admire. Put it somewhere you can see it. 

3. Then look at your news feeds and see if you've subscribed to these people. It could be newsletters, emailers, tweets, podcasts etc. If you haven't subscribed to them then do so.

4. Now for the tricky part: delete all other junk in your twitter feed, email subscriptions, podcasts etc. Ouch! It's just noise wasting time you could be spending somewhere else. 

From now onwards, before you take any new content onboard ask yourself this: is this content going to just be noise in my space or is it actually going to inspire me? If not, don’t subscribe. You have better things to do with your time.