Brain Food

What Kind of Food is Your Brain Eating? Overdosing on Celebrity Gossip, The News, and Low Quality Information

How much time do you spend consuming information that you have no intention of taking action on or that you don’t care deeply about?

For example: the nightly news cycle of local crimes, the endless stream of Facebook and Twitter updates, celebrity gossip, reality TV shows, Buzzfeed articles. The list goes on.

In this age of information overload, your life can be filled with irrelevant or unnecessary information in an instant.

And here’s the main problem:

After a while, these information sources start to become normal. Pretty soon, you’re logging onto Facebook out of habit because of the fear of missing out on “something.” You turn on the news or check CNN, not because you care about the topic or because it impacts your life, but because you’re supposed to “stay informed.” You watch tonight’s reality TV show because that’s what you always do on Thursdays at 8pm.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for learning and soaking up new information. After all, education is one of the master keys to the universe.

But it is becoming dangerously easy to consume low quality information and convince yourself that it’s normal and good, when it isn’t helping you live a better life at all.

Circles of Concern vs. Circles of Control

In Steven Covey’s best-selling book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People , he covers the difference between Circles of Concern and Circles of Control.

Circles of Concern are the things that you often waste time and energy worrying about, but that you have little to no control over. Meanwhile, Circles of Control are the things that you can influence in your daily life.

As an example, the vast majority of news stories — war and terrorism, the economy and stock prices, celebrity gossip and political scandal — fall squarely in the Circle of Concern. They can easily soak up your time and energy, but you have virtually no control over those events.

Other examples include getting angry about what someone posted on Facebook, worrying about what other people think about you, or wishing your kids would make better choices (a valid wish, but still outside of your control).

As you can see in the image below, worrying about Circles of Concern is a hallmark of reactive people, while focusing on Circles of Control is a trait of proactive people.


Notice that by eliminating or reducing your Circle of Concern, you have more time and energy to put towards your Circle of Control. That means you have more mental space to use for creating art, starting a business, having meaningful conversations, or otherwise contributing to the world around you.

Read More Here…


Key Terms…
  • Overdosing ↔ Tomando Overdose
  • Gossip ↔ Fofoca
  • that you don’t care deeply about? ↔ com que você não se importa profundamente
  • nightly news ↔ telejornal da noite
  • goes on. ↔ continua.
  • information overload, ↔ sobrecarga ou congestão de informações
  • out of habit ↔ por força do hábito
  • missing out on ↔ perdendo
  • turn on ↔ ligar
  • care about ↔ se preocupa com
  • “stay informed.” ↔ manter-se informado
  • don’t get me wrong, ↔ Não me leve a mal
  • I’m all for ↔ Eu apoio plenamente
  • soaking up new information. ↔ absorvendo novas informações
  • master keys ↔ chaves mestras
  • convince yourself ↔ convencer-se
  • covers ↔ aborda; trata de
  • worrying ↔ preocupando
  • Meanwhile ↔ Entretanto
  • vast majority ↔ grande maioria
  • stock prices, ↔ os preços das ações
  • fall squarely ↔ cabem perfeitamente
  • soak up ↔ absorver
  • getting angry ↔ ficando com raiva
  • outside of ↔ fora do
  • is a hallmark ↔ é uma marca ou característica
  • trait ↔ traço (de caráter)
  • Notice that ↔ Observe que…
  • put towards ↔ colocar ou aplicar para
  • meaningful ↔ significativo
  • or otherwise ↔ ou de outro modo


Gossip Fofoca
He loves to gossip. ↔Ele gosta de fofoca.
The gossip hurt his reputation. ↔O boato feriu sua reputação.
Tom isn’t the type of person who gossips. ↔Tom não é do tipo de gente que fofoca.
She spread the gossip all over the town. ↔Ela espalhou a fofoca por toda a cidade.
out of habit por força do hábito
There is really no need to use boots, I only do so out of habit and convenience.  
When I tell you I love you, I don’t say it out of habit. I say it to remind you that you are the best thing that has ever happend to me.
missing out on perdendo
They’re going to miss out on tonight’s exciting episode.
Você não pode perder esta ótima oportunidade de praticamente ter seu próprio negócio! ↔You don’t want to miss out on this great opportunity to practically run your own business!
soaking up new information. absorvendo novas informações
Absorvem água como uma esponja e assim arrefecem a atmosfera. ↔They soak up water like a sponge and thereby cool the atmosphere.
covers aborda; trata de
This book covers the treatments and cures of diseases and ailments, through dieting.  
fall squarely cabem perfeitamente
The responsibility for the failure falls squarely on her shoulders. [she is completely responsible for the failure]
soak up absorver
It is often said that a child’s brain can soak up information like a sponge.  
is a hallmark é uma marca ou característica
“The sense of guilt is the hallmark of civilized humanity”
trait traço (de caráter)
Remember, hacking is more than just a crime. It’s a survival trait.
Japan has many distinctive traits. ↔O Japão tem muitas características distintas.
Que importava? , a coerência não era uma virtude, era uma característica vegetal que eu não possuía, felizmente. ↔What did it matter. Consistency wasn’t a virtue, it was a vegetal trait that I did not, fortunately, possess.
put towards colocar ou aplicar para
Dreskin also says some cash will be put towards the company’s marketing and sales efforts.  
O dinheiro angariado com a venda dos livros foi aplicado na construção de um centro pedagógico. ↔The money raised from total books sales was to put towards the construction of a pedagogic centre.
O conhecimento adquirido se incorpora ao plano do ano seguinte ou promove uma redefinição das regulamentações estabelecidas. ↔The knowledge gained through the process is put towards future resources.

Audio Notes

  • missing out on ↔ perdendo

    to be missing out on something is to not being able to participate in something. You are missing the chance to take part, to be involved.

  • soaking up new information. ↔ absorvendo novas informações

    Just like a sponge soaks up water, people can soak up information.

  • covers ↔ aborda; trata de

    When a book covers a topic, is talks about the topic, it discusses it, it deals with a wide range of aspects relating to the topic.

  • fall squarely ↔ cabem perfeitamente

    In the article, they say that the majority of news stories fall squarely into the Circle of Concern, meaning that news stories fit perfectly into this category.

  • is a hallmark ↔ é uma marca ou característica

    A hallmark is not just the card company, it refers to a mark indicating quality or excellence. It can also mean a feature or characteristic which is common or unique to something.


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