Garbage In, Garbage Out

Photo by Pawel Czerwinski on Unsplash

Garbage in, garbage out. That’s what we may have heard from our old grandmother about the music we listen to, the shows we watch, and the friends we choose to hang around. For some people it’s like an eye roll, because we think it’s a ridiculous notion, one of those things that is not true. We think we have the ability to turn it off or tune out the bad we really need it. When bad music plays, we can just hear the artist without letting the lyrics affect us. This is wrong.

It does not matter where you came from or what kind of brain you possess, we are hardwired for absorbing the environment around us. If we hear music about lying or drinking, we will eventually want to lie or get drunk. If we listen to music that swears, the same words will cycle in and out of our brains even after we finish the song. It’s how we’re made. We may not all develop an action plan based on the kinds of things we watch and listen to, but we must certainly think about it, as the thoughts of whatever we absorb will stay inside of us.

It is more than just what we think about, too. What goes into our brain may end up showing up in our lives as action, and this should not be a surprise. Do not be surprised at your behavior if what you listen to is morally wrong. If you listen to music that glorifies using illicit drugs, don’t be shocked if you one day become regular user. If you watch movies that affirm affairs, don’t be shocked when one day you have a strong desire to leave your spouse for another person. What we absorb is what we become.

So what do we do with this? If we are so sensitive to our environment, should we all stay locked in a castle and avoid the world? Not at all, and we certainly shouldn’t limit ourselves from everything. You cannot control everything that you experience because life is unpredictable. But you can control what you intentionally consume. Think about the moments where you spend your free time, the bursts of time that you use to fill your brain up. What do you do in those times?

Think again about the entertainment you use, the friends you spend most of your time around, and what you decide to create. It matters, because who you are becoming matters. You don’t have the choice about everything, but how you choose to consume your time can be in your control. Don’t waste it. Find positive impacts in your environment, and make your life what you want it to be.



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