Have you ever seen the television movie, “The Boy in the Plastic Bubble?” Released in 1976 and starring John Travolta, the movie was based on the true story of a teenage boy whose immune system did not function. As a result, he was vulnerable to the most common germs that all of us come in contact with every day.
Since the boy could die from exposure to germs, he had to live inside a plastic bubble, which served as a sterile environment to protect him.
There’s a connection here to our lives. In a way, we all live inside a “bubble,” an environment we create, consisting of the influences we allow into our lives. These influences include the people we interact with, the materials we read, the things we watch on TV and so on. We can allow positive influences into our bubble, negative influences, or a mixture of the two.
The influences that you allow into your environment have access to something very precious – your mind! What you invite into your mind affects what you think about and how you feel. This, in turn, shapes your attitude, your beliefs and your behaviors … and ultimately your results.
Now and again, it’s a good idea to re-evaluate what you’ve allowed into your bubble. Here are some suggestions for making your bubble more positive so you can lead a happier, more productive life:
* Limit your exposure to the television news. We’re now being bombarded with negativity on the so-called news reports. I call it “Media Madness.” Terror attacks, crimes, and other tragedies dominate. You rarely hear any uplifting stories. Instead, the news anchors focus on violence and destruction, and you often get graphic pictures to cement the horror even further in your brain.
But why stop there? Most news reports now have a “runner” that goes along the bottom of the screen so you can get additional negative news in print while you’re hearing about the other catastrophes. If you continue to view these programs for hours on end, you’re allowing an avalanche of gloom into your mind.
You can keep up with current events by watching the news for about 10 minutes. Don’t let this poisonous material into your bubble for too long or the negativity will take its toll on your success and well-being.
* Maintain relationships that are uplifting. I’m referring here to your discretionary relationships, where you have a choice whether to spend time with the other person. This includes your friends and also people you spend time with at work.
For instance, you might have a habit of hanging around with negative people at lunch, listening to them complain about this or that, or even engaging in “water cooler gossip” yourself. This is your choice, and you could choose to be with more positive people or to simply eat lunch alone.
When you invite negative people into your bubble, they will constantly pour their negative comments into your mind. This helps to kill your attitude and your dreams.
Think about it – how do you feel when you’re around these prophets of doom? You’re drained because these people take energy from you. Positive, supportive people, on the other hand, provide an infusion of energy and help to boost your attitude. Consider the people in your bubble and whether you need to make some adjustments.
* Program your mind with positive materials. If I were to say that your attitude and your beliefs are dictating the course of your life, many of you would nod your head in agreement. But let me ask you this: How much time did you spend today monitoring your attitude? How much time did you spend today concentrating on your beliefs? How much time did you spend today considering your enormous potential? Chances are you didn’t spend any time thinking about these vital subjects.
Whether or not you care to admit it, you’re programming your mind every day. It’s just a matter of whether you choose positive programming or negative programming. Positive programming improves your attitude and encourages you to take constructive action.
Negative inputs weaken your attitude and discourage you from moving forward. To improve the quality of your bubble, make sure to get positive messages into your mind every day. Spend 15-30 minutes each morning reading something positive, whether from a book, a magazine or online. Spend 15-30 minutes listening to positive audio programs every day.
In the very first week, you’re going to see results in the way you think and act. Your bubble is going to be a lot more positive and supportive than ever before.
* Set the mood with music. What’s your favorite song? Maybe you have a few songs that bring up positive memories, make you smile or give you a burst of energy. If I played your favorite songs for you right now, you’d instantly feel better.
As I see it, people don’t use music often enough to create a positive mood. Whether in your car, at home, or while exercising, play music that will help you create the mood you want. If you want energy, play music that invigorates you (the theme from the movie, “Rocky,” might be one example).
If you want to relax after a stressful day, play music that calms you or helps you think about peaceful, serene experiences in your life. As someone who enjoys aerobics classes, I know first-hand about the power of music. When the music is un-inspiring, I feel like my legs weigh a ton and it’s a struggle to stay interested. When the music is more upbeat and to my liking, I feel like a different person – full of energy and enjoying every second of the class!
Music has a profound effect on your mood. Make sure that your bubble is filled with music that works for you.
Just as the teenage “boy in the bubble” took control of his environment, you too have this ability. Make the commitment to carefully examine every influence that you invite into your environment. Your success and your happiness depend on the choices you make.
– Jeff Keller