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Do you consume information? Or does it consume you?

Each of us hear or read about 100,000 words in a given day. And each and every one of those words slightly changes us forever, whether we like it or not.

The problem is that we don’t choose very many of these 100,000 words. Most of them are not sought out by us and consumed deliberately. Rather, they are thrust upon us and we consume them thoughtlessly. It’s one of the main ways the world shapes us and changes us without us really knowing it.

From the moment we wake up, we are bombarded with information. Phones ringing. Notifications popping up in our face. Email inboxes overflowing. Social networks buzzing. Radio blaring. TV humming. And advertisements around every corner and crammed into every space of silence along the way.

All of it competing for our attention.

“What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence, a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention and a need to allocate that attention efficiently among the overabundance of information sources that might consume it.” – Herbert Simon, Recipient of Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics

On top of that, the information we do choose to consume, we often choose poorly. Drawn impulsively in by stimulating entertainment and driven by a fear of missing out.

Every morning we wake up and immediately begin reacting to the urgent promptings of the world. And by the time we catch our breath, another day has somehow passed, never having quite found the time to focus on the things most important to us.

Rather than us consuming information, it has begun to consume us.

We’ve become information gluttons. Lacking the discipline to control our information appetite. Lacking the humility of our limitations. And lacking the faith to know that God has already given us the ability and grace to accomplish everything today in order to live an extraordinary life.

The world is filled with an abundance of information. Only the top 0.1% of it is worth your time. Don’t waste your time with the rest. It’s not only a waste of your life, but it is turning you into something lesser than your best self. Be deliberate about what you consume so that it doesn’t end up consuming you.

NEXT WEEK: 10 tips for healthy info consumption

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