Information is key.
There are so many things you can do when you learn new info. You can grow, change, and make various and sundry new choices.
Can you know too much? No…but…you can be inundated with too much information all at once. That, in turn, can be pretty overwhelming.
Not sure what I mean? Well, let me put it to you this way. Let’s say you have a shot-glass. I go and pour beer into your shot glass. But I don’t stop when I reach the top — I pour out the entire bottle of beer.
First, you have a mess on your hands. There is beer all over the table, and the shot glass is now a total mess.
Second, I just wasted beer (and believe me, if I am sharing my beer with you, it was a good beer).
Third, you, or since I poured all that beer all over the counter, I have to clean this mess up.
Let’s turn this into a metaphor. I tell you something useful. But then I keep talking at you and adding to it and expanding it and giving it more bits and pieces and further data and examples and this, that, the other thing, and…and….
And then I write a run-on sentence. But the point is that you can only absorb so much of this info before I am wasting both our time.
What can you do about this?
Receiving too much information
Like it or not this can be an everyday occurrence. Spend five minutes on Facebook or Twitter and chances are you have gotten too much information of one sort or other.
When you are bombarded by info, even information that you desire to have, you can find yourself curling up in the fetal position with your hands over your ears and whimpering, before long.
But it needn’t be that way. You can pick and choose what to do with the info you receive.
When it comes to the unwanted or just the out-there-but-unnecessary, you can readily disregard it. Or at the very least decide how much of it to take in and what not to. You have the control.
One of the best ways to guard against too much info, wherever it comes from, is to practice mindfulness. When you are working to be mindful you are working on being aware of your thoughts, feelings, and actions.
Being mindful tells you when you have had enough and are taking in too much. Because you know, when mindful, what you are thinking and feeling. So you will better recognize when you have gotten more info than you can do anything with.
When this is information you are seeking it can be a little more difficult. But it never hurts to ask the person giving you info to slow their roll or take it down a notch.
Hopefully, you can record or otherwise get a summary or references for everything they are providing you. Whatever the case may be, you don’t need to be overwhelmed.
Giving too much information
You may not even know you are doing this.
Let’s say you are sharing something you know. For example, how to make the perfect apple pie. You explain the ingredients, the cooking time, the process. Why mixing sweet and tart apples is important. You explain that only real vanilla extract matters and that freshly grated cinnamon makes all the difference.
Then you begin to tell the story of how your grandma came up with this recipe. How she won second place in the Lake Titicaca Open Bakeoff. That even though she didn’t win, her apple pie was used to broker an incredible business deal.
Oh, and then you explain that she got the recipe, which originally used pears instead of apples, from HER grandmother, who used it to get passage to America from….
See where this could go? Too much information. Look at the person you are sharing with. Do they still seem to be interested…or are their eyes glazing over? Or worse, they’re in a stupor and drooling like Homer Simpson.
Being mindful works here, too. When you are aware of your own thoughts and feelings you also can be aware of your actions. Thus, rather than get into the history of the family apple pie with a disinterested party, you don’t overshare.
It never ceases to amaze me how much you can impact both yourself and those around you with a little mindfulness.
Information is power
It is always good to know things. The more you know, the more you can do.
There is always something new to be learned and experienced. You can constantly discover, reveal, and experience new things. Some will be awesome…while some are going to suck rather a lot.
Never be afraid to take in info or to share it. But also be mindful about when it is too much. You don’t need to have info that serves you no purpose…unless you like beating your friends at Trivial Pursuit or a similar game.
Yes, there is a line between information and inundation. But it is easy to spot when you practice mindfulness.
Because knowing is half the battle.
You are worthy and deserving of using your mindfulness to find and/or create the reality in which you desire to live. When all is said and done you matter, so practice being the best you that you can be.