Unless you enjoy the news as a way to entertain yourself, paying attention to the news is a waste of time and stimulates unnecessary upset.
There are many ways to contribute to others...each of which is important:
-Providing goods and services for a fee (successful businesses are masters at this; as an employee, you are doing this)
-Inventing new products or services
-Protecting others (governments can sometimes do this well)
-Giving money, products, or services to others (personally or through charities)
-Showing appreciation, liking, love, or admiration to others
-Taking care of others physically
-Teaching others some knowledge or skill
-Listening to others
and many more...
But there is one way to give to others that has the potential to provide deeper and longer lasting value than all other ways:
To create, provide, and instill new ways of thinking, new ways of believing that result in happiness, empowerment, and full self-expression for every person who learns these new ways of thinking and believing.
This is a major reason why life coaching is such a fulfilling career for me.
Suffering is always caused by the beliefs that are not true (for example, "He should love me.") and by what you resist that is true (for example, resisting the fear that you have that people won't like you).
Joy can be caused by believing some things that are not always true (for example, "Everything that happens in my life is a gift to me.")
I have a friend who quit her job at Motorola (which she disliked). She started her own service business which she loved. But she felt so guilty for charging people for what she would "do for free," she had to return to her job at Motorola where it was "okay" to get paid for a job she didn't like.
Our cultural belief in "equality of suffering" and our fear that others will blame us for charging for what we would "do for free" can make it unlikely that some of us could even allow ourselves to become aware of what we might love doing that we could also be paid for.
A wealthy lifestyle can be much more easily achieved by how to spend and use the money that you already have than by making more money.
Everyone I know who makes more money than I do do not begin to match my wealthy lifestyle.
If you're learning something new that doesn't challenge something you think you already know, then the learning can be fairly easy. For example, if you're just learning that a water molecule contains two atoms of hydrogen and one atom of oxygen, it's not a big deal.
However, if there is some new learning that could be quite valuable to you, yet it questions or challenges something you already "know," then the likelihood of your learning this new very valuable knowledge is small.
For example, suppose that you already believe that...
"Life is hard." or
"My brother is stupid." or
"People should be kinder to each other." or
"There is no way to fix this problem." or
"Republicans are heartless." or
"People should do the right thing." or
"It's difficult to get a good job."
...then you are not likely to look for information that would question your belief and replace it will a much more accurate and empowering belief.
I find it very curious that we honor people for:
fighting or dying for their country
winning an election
protecting others (policemen and firemen)
making a new scientific discovery
inventing a new technique or product
building a company
getting a job or getting promoted
winning a race or a game
making a lot of money
studying hard or making good grades
getting a degree
and many more types of accomplishments.
But what we rarely honor people for is the accomplishment of just being happy (which is the purpose of everything anyway).
Yesterday I hit my thumb and it hurt. Heidi asked me, "Are you okay?" I replied, "My thumb is not okay yet, but I am."
We could apply this way of thinking in many circumstances of our life:
"My left breast is not okay yet, but I am." (if one had breast cancer).
"Some of my thoughts are not okay yet, but I am." (if one were depressed or discouraged).
"My job situation is not okay yet, but I am." (if one had just lost their job).
Try it. Notice what happens when you think or speak this way.
How thinking we know more than we do makes us feel safer (but is actually more dangerous)...
We think it's difficult to get a job...
...so we don't have to risk the fear of being rejected for a job.
We think it's difficult to get a girlfriend or boyfriend...
...so we don't have to risk the rejection of asking for a date.
We think the best way to secure our future is by getting a degree...
...so we don't have to think and act for ourselves in creating our future.
We think that quitting is bad...
...so we don't have to risk that others will blame us.
Do you put city and country first?
I don't mean "first" in a loyalty or nationalistic sense. I have no loyalty to any city or country.
I mean, "Loyalty and patriotism aside, do you explicitly choose the best city and country for you, given a clear set of criteria of what is best for you?"
I didn't use to do this or even think of doing this (except maybe the "best city" inside the USA). It all started when I moved to Tokyo from Los Angeles in 1999. It seems to me that very few people in the world (assuming they are not excessively blocked by governments from leaving their native country) seriously consider doing this.
I have a relatively small set of criteria for determining the "best city/country in the world for me." I have done serious research in trying to find a better city/country in the world than Kunming, China, to no avail.
Here are my deal-breaker criteria for choosing the best city/country to live in:
1) Good weather all-year-around, with not-bad pollution.
2) Cost-of-living is on the low side.
3) Large city (minimum two million people).
4) I am living outside my own culture so that I get the movie-star effect and the cross-cultural-freedom effect.
5) A recurring visa is not too hard to get.
6) Good Internet is available.
7) The government is relatively stable and public safety is not bad.
Just in case you think you know of a city/country in the world that is better than Kunming, China using these criteria, let me know! I am very happy here, but I'll check it out.
I'm curious: if you're not putting city and country first, why not? (I realize that many people have family and job-location ties that I don't have...and those might be the reasons why not).