News Junkie

Is anyone else finding it harder and harder to avoid their cell phone?

Spare moments – at first wake up, in line, in the bathroom, at red lights, and of course before bed – are spent checking Facebook, Twitter, Youtube or google news.  And I’m finding it increasingly difficult to avoid commenting on meaningless arguments online.

I didn’t used to be this bad.  A big part of it is the news cycle.  I’ve never been interested much in politics until the most recent election.  The constant deluge of scandals and outlandish quotes combined with the quick dopamine hit of social media seems to have beaten back my self control.

I know none of it matters.  None of it is under my control and none of it affects my life in the least.

So why?

Maybe the steady stream of sound bites eliminates my need to process any of it.  Thinking is hard and the internet is easy.

Maybe my human tendency toward choosing a side is attracted to polarizing articles.

Whatever it is, here and now I’m making a vow to stop consuming so much.

I vow to create more.  That means thinking and writing, business and play.

When I consume, I vow for it to be though books.  Preferably older books.

I vow to avoid mainstream media.  In its place, I will read from authors whose words don’t appear to be controlled solely by their politics, clicks, or sponsors.

Marcus Aurelius said, “Don’t waste time arguing what a good man is.  Be one.”

There are a lot of people that need to take this advice but the only person I can force it onto is myself.  And so I start today.

(Thanks to Ryan Holiday for sharing the quote and for his most recent article on the topic)


My wife gave me her standard smirk when I mentioned to the kids that today’s rainy 45 degrees was perfect running weather.

As runners, we all have family who insist we are a bit crazy for willfully subjecting ourselves to the pain of endurance training.

Unless you’re an athlete, it’s difficult to understand why one would push through years of physical discomfort for little more than a finisher medal or finish line banana and bagel.

But of course it’s the intangible rewards that keep us at it.  The confidence gained from rising to a difficult challenge.  A sense of accomplishment from completing a race.  The feeling of incredible mental peace in a physically taxed body following a workout.

But maybe the most important result from endurance training is resilience.

The famous Stoic philosopher Seneca wrote:

“It is in times of security that the spirit should be preparing itself for difficult times; while fortune is bestowing favors on it is then is the time for it to be strengthened against her rebuffs.”

I like how Tim Ferriss put it a bit better though:

The more voluntary suffering you build into your life, the less involuntary suffering will affect your life.