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March 18, 2021

Pouring It In - Your Input Equals Your Future

Pouring It In - Your Input Equals Your Future

If you only change this one part of your life, it will change everything else. Zig Ziglar said, "Your input determines your outlook, your outlook determines your output, and your output determines your future."  My life is proof that this is true. The people and media you are around are absolutely influencing your life. Here's how to filter this information in a way that builds your life. 

Partial Transcript Below:

Two years ago at this time, I was constantly fighting a losing battle with negativity. I had heard all of that “think positive” stuff before, and I tried, but I thought it just didn’t work for me. 

Things did not change until I realized – I couldn’t watch the negative shows that I’d been watching, I couldn’t read all of the negative things I was reading, I couldn’t be addicted to the podcasts and the news that were constantly spewing out information that was making me feel mad, depressed, helpless – I couldn’t be constantly taking in all of this information, and then try to have a positive outlook on life. 

 

For me, in order for things to change, there had to be a sacrifice. And hiking in the woods one fateful day, instead of listening to things that would have made me depressed or mad, I listened to a Zig Ziglar seminar. And I did it the next day, and the next. And something started happening to me that I hadn’t experienced for a long, long time. I thought at first it was happiness, because it felt so good. But what it really was, was hope. I now had hope for the future, hope for my relationships, for my life – I knew in just a couple of days that I had been swimming in a swamp of negativity all my life, and now I could climb out, get cleaned up, and get on with my real life. 

 

I had years of negativity under my belt. I thought there was something wrong with me – I tried to go to sleep at night, and just as I was fading off, I would imagine something horrible happening to my wife, my kids, myself – I’d wake up shaking, having a physical reaction to the fear, a panic attack. I thought this is what my life was going to be like. 

 

Here was the sacrifice that I had to get through. I had reasons for all of my negative input. Good reasons – I was a writer – I’ve had my sci-fi and horror stories published in a few books, and I wanted to hone my craft, get better, and write a best-selling horror novel.  In order to do that, I had to read novel after novel of the best horror and sci-fi writers out there, constantly filling my head with terrible scenarios well thought out by great writers. A constant barrage of hopeless situations. I was trying to read 100 books a year back then, so I really was filling my head with it. I also listened to political podcasts – each one made me angrier than the last, and my head would be swimming pretty constantly with solid arguments about why the other side was wrong, and why the other side was destroying our country. 

 

To top that off, I binge-watched horror shows and other shows that filled my head with murder, crime, betrayal, and all other manner of atrocities that the writers could think of to keep my interest. 2-3 hours a night, just pouring it in. 

 

And then, a couple days listening to Zig Ziglar, hearing that phrase that my input is what is determining my outlook, I examined it and believed it. And I made the decision to put an end to it. No more binge watching, no more horror books, no more political podcasts. I chose from then on to only fill my mind with powerful, pure, and hopeful material. Before I read anything, before I watch anything, I ask myself, “Is this going to make me better?”