They say we are built to live in communities of about 100 people. Imagine what the news would be like in a primitive village like that. A few births every year. A few deaths. The river's a bit high. Derek fell over. Jeremy's got a new hut. Bit windy.
Nothing stressful in any of that.
Imagine you find out that the next village has taken to expansion. It's training warriors and last week (says the news, quite rightly), they attacked another village and stole their livestock. Your whole village would be worried.
In order to do what we want in life, we need to be relaxed. A stress like that is going to divert us into doing other stuff. In the village, energy would turn (again, rightly under the circumstances) to defence. And great, there are upsides to that. But that wasn't what you were doing. It's not what you wanted to do with your life.
So what if DANGER has the effect of controlling us, as a population. What if it stops us living the life we want, because we are always worried about things going wrong.
Modern news creates worry out of all proportion to the dangers we face. I'm sat in my office in Scarborough, I'm not in any terrorist danger. The only immigrants I know are completely lovely. I'm only worried about the NHS because of what I read in the news, but my partner and I have been quite heavy users of the NHS recently and we've not seen any problems at all.
But the media brings us news of dangers we can do nothing about. The brexit negotiations. A car bomb in Turkey. The horrors of Aleppo. Widescreen. Every day. We are not evolved to deal with it all.
Our brains react most strongly to danger. The news media battles for viewers. The more danger they show us, the more we watch. They make more money, but we are left wrecked.
It doesn't do us any good, and it doesn't do the country any good. Reading Darren Henley's The Arts Dividend (he heads The Arts Council), creativity pays.
Now, I'm not a conspiracy theorist. I'm not saying there's a fat controller sat somewhere controlling our brains by controlling the media. Everyone's doing the best they can. It's just, this is how it comes together, not especially by design, but it just does, and the only people who can stop it is us. Individually.
Britain is supposed to be a place of invention, with a can-do spirit and a bit of bonkersness thrown in for good measure. You can't do that if you're worried.
So here's the antidote.
If we tame the news and social media, you'll relax, have more time and be happier. If we work together to think about where you are going & what you are doing, then you can focus better. Then we can get some goals set up (hey, yeah, I used to hate goals too, but I finally got them sorted). Finally, I've got a fabulous way to make them real.
But it starts by breaking out of the matrix. Most people prefer it in. But you .. you've read this far. You're ready.
Just enter your email address below and you'll get a daily email taking you through the process, step by step. It's completely free, don't worry about spam I'll never sell your details, and there's an unsubscribe button on every email so if you don't like it, press that and you'll not hear from me again.
Why am I doing this? Partly because I've created SimpleNews, news stripped of its wind-up, and it works best as part of a digital detox. News is still useful, we just need a news that isn't complete mayhem, so maybe you'll like SimpleNews better (take a look). Regardless, if you get more relaxed, happier, more creative from implementing some of the strategies I'm going to outline I'll still have helped contribute something good, and I like that feeling.
The best time to start is now.