A couple days ago I posted fifteen online sources for positive, inspiring news as a starting point for feeding your mind with what’s working in the world and nourishing a positive worldview.
One of the challenges with that whole idea is that good news is seldom as riveting and compelling as the bad news (that, unfortunately, seems to be how we’re wired).
The basic question then, if you want to ratchet up the impact good news has on your mind, is how do you create as much engagement around the positive as you can? How do you create as much opportunity for your mind to hook into those positive stories the way it gets sucked into the negative ones?”
The Good News Experiment
The list of positive news sources in yesterday’s post had its genesis in a conversation with a father I had recently about the barrage of negative, toxic news we’re all subjected to on a regular basis and the effect it had on the wordview his kids were developing.
As we talked about the challenge of finding a positive worldview to focus on in the midst of the 24/7 news cycle of violence, destruction, and scandal, I offered to compile a list of positive news sources for his kids. As I put that list together, I started noodling the question, “How do you make this matter? How do you make the energy of these stories compete with the energy of stories of murder and mayhem?”
The idea that popped into my head was simple: Talk about it.
The Good News Experiment idea as it originally formed focused on opportunities for family discussion, but it can just as easily be applied with friends and colleagues.
Here’s the basic idea.
- Identify your partners in goodness. This could be a ready-made group like your family, or you could create a Good News Group that gets together on a regular basis to meet in person, by phone, or on Skype.
- Decide how often you will meet. For a family, this might be a daily discussion (a great dinner time tradition!). A Good News Group of friends might meet once a week or once a month (keeping in mind that the more frequently you meet, the more naturally it keeps you focused on the good news).
- Decide how long the experiment will run. If you’re making the discussion a daily dinner discussion with your family, try doing it for one month to start with. If you’re meeting less frequently with your Good News Group, you may want to expand that period. In either situation, you can always extend it if you find it enriching.
- Spotlight your favorite news. Use the list below as a starting point for finding positive news. Each person can share their favorite positive/inspiring/etc. story they have come across since the last discussion.
- Discuss it. Each person can share what resonated with them about the story and why they found it compelling. Use that as a springboard to go deeper. How do the others in the group feel about it? What resonates? Are there similar things any of you may have heard of? Where else is news like that happening? What ideas come to mind that any or all of you can apply in your own lives? How do the stories counter the stream of negative perspective we’re fed in the mainstream news? Brainstorm questions to explore and see where they take you.
- Review it. Every once in a while, look back and review what impact your focus on the positive news has had. Has it changed or broadened your perspective? Has it given you ideas? Has it helped you counter the doom and gloom that seems to be so prevalent?
Do this as an experiemnt. Don’t just trust me that it’s a good idea. Do it yourself and see what kind of impact it has on you and your fellow experimenters.
I can’t tell you what will happen, but I have a sneaking hunch what might happen. When you have a space in your life specifically designated for focusing on what’s working in the world, and you know you’re going to be on the hook for discussing it, your brain starts to notice it more. You start to automatically look for good news you might be able to share.
And the more you notice it, the more space it occupies in your awareness, and the more potential it has to shape how you experience the world.
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Brought to you by Curt Rosengren, Passion Catalyst TM
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