We Are What We Consume

Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and thoughts.

Have you heard of the documentary, “Super Size Me?”  In it, Morgan Spurlock submits his body to eating only McDonalds for one year.  If the thought of this doesn’t make your colon quiver, it will once you lookup the documentary.  Yuck is an understatement!

Most of us wouldn’t dream of eating McDonalds every meal for one year straight, but I’d like to take a look at what we consume from a mental perspective to challenge your thinking.  Many a study are published every year with new “super foods” to add to our diet.  When we look back at making real change in our diets it usually involves: eating more fruits/vegetables, limit red meat, eat more chicken/fish, drink a lot of water, don’t over-consume alcohol, etc.  I’m sure I’m leaving something out, but you get the idea.


Lets turn the tables now to look at what we consume from a mental and thought perspective.  How healthy is your mental diet?  Again, how HEALTHY is your mental diet?  In order to best understand our mental diet I’ve chosen to relate it to the timeless food Pyramid pictured here on the right.

When I think of my mental diet I think of the following elements I choose to consume daily:

1. Podcasts (Fruits) – I’ve got six to seven I subscribe to and listen to almost weekly.  They challenge me to think about my: finances, new strategies, marketing, and of course sports (Dan Patrick Show).   I listen to these in the car and while doing household chores.


2. Audiobooks (Vegetables)- I’ve got about 10-15 audiobooks I listen to frequently because every time I listen, I learn or implement something new into my life.  I grabbed a snapshot of a few of them for you as well to show you I mean what I’m saying.  It’s at the bottom of this post as I’ve run out of room here.  Like my podcasts I consume these in the car, working out, or while doing household chores.

3. TV Shows (Fats/Oils/Sweets) – I do watch TV and I can’t tell you a lot of it is real solid “learning material” but that’s ok.  We can’t all be on 100% of the time.  My wife and I have a few shows we watch together (Parenthood, Modern Family, and Homeland).  It’s a great way for us to connect.

4. Books (Meat/Protein)- I found this link very interesting: The Average CEO Reads 4-5 Books Per Month.   Do the math people.  That’s over 50 books a year.  How many of you have read 50 books in your life?  There are reading lists everywhere.  Start now.

5. Relationships (Bread/Cereal/Rice/Pasta)- This is the last one on my list and most likely the most over looked consumption medium.  I know a guy who was a completely different person based on the people he was around 5-6 years ago until a friend called him out on it.  That guy was ME!  Choose who you look up to and associate with carefully.  Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”  Relationships are what we consume the most of on a daily basis and the bottom of our mental consumption pyramid.

Lastly I thought I’d share a list of all the opportunities we have on a daily basis to make ourselves better.  Look at your day and tell me you don’t do one or more of these activities: exercising, eating breakfast, during a commute, in the shower, during lunch, cooking, doing household chores, flying/travel, gardening, and brain-numbing television.  YOU HAVE NO EXCUSE!

ACTION ITEM:  Don’t try to eat the whole elephant.  What I mean is, don’t go off on an over consumption strategy.  We know from diet studies this doesn’t yield positive results.  Studies show goals are reached with the creation of really good habits.  Create a new mental consumption habit and fuel your hungry mind with challenging new practices and techniques.  With every day that passes, you’ll be laying the groundwork for a Keen Mind.


As promised here is a quick look at the audiobooks I mentioned above and a list for you to consume.