Feed Your Mind

2013-10-21 16.15.49This post is part of a series that makes up my Simple Guide To Health which is part of a broader collection of posts on Living Well.

Back when I was about 12 years old I broke free from my teachers at school and started to feed my mind according to my own agenda.  I read widely on science, nutrition, yoga and health as well as spending all the money I earned (I had lots of jobs) on science fiction. 

I passed all my exams largely through self study just using just the Key Facts study guides, with almost no input from my teachers.

This lust for learning has stayed with me for the rest of my life.

For many the glitter in life comes from seeking thrills or moments of awe. Those things have never been drivers for me.  I love the view from the top of a mountain as much as anyone, but for me the journey is it’s own reward.  What gets me going is knowledge.  I love to understand how things work, and to apply that knowledge to life. 

Sometimes that’s just connecting the dots to understand something more deeply or to train my mind to think in new ways.  Often though I get to apply that knowledge to real life and I think that’s hugely important, I particularly like to explore the world I learn about and to build things, whether it’s my garden, a high performance team, a huge organisation, a product or service, or a stronger relationship with my wife and kids.

It’s often said that we are what we think, but just as important, we think about what we feed our minds with. I stopped reading the general news many years ago, that’s not what I wanted to feed my mind with!  I use personally curated news sources now, and books, audiobooks and podcasts.  One of my favourite activities of all time is a long distance hike accompanied by a great audiobook, it’s almost as good as hiking with a real person for company.

Reading though is not enough to feed the mind.  It provides the raw ingredients, but these need to be reflected upon, discussed and explained or practiced before they turn into real ‘food’.  For me this blog is one of the ways that I reflect and explain.  Of course it’s possible to feed the mind with junk food too and just like real food this is to be avoided.  Stick to nutrient dense sources if you want to feed the mind well, but moderation is key and a little chocolate is fine.

This is what my fiction diet looks like and some time soon I will get to list my favourite non-fiction reading and podcasts too.

In summary one of my top recommendations for a great life is to:

Read, listen, discuss, apply, reflect, explain (and write)

You can follow my blog on twitter @steveiswriting, follow all my reading @steveisreading, just my reading highlights @stevehighlights (or tumblr) and follow me @steverichards 

The photo is of Filey beach, is there any better way to soak up a good audio book than an early morning walk on a peaceful beach!  I was listening to Robin Hobb’s Tawny Man trilogy here last week and it was life changing.

Steve Richards

I'm retired from work as a business and IT strategist. now I'm travelling, hiking, cycling, swimming, reading, gardening, learning, writing this blog and generally enjoying good times with friends and family

1 Response

  1. August 20, 2014

    […] Feed Your Mind.  Developing a love for learning is key to a healthy life, but there are many other ways to feed the mind as well […]

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