I just got back from the premier event of the year, SOBCon, incredibly inspired (and tired, but in a good way).  One of the amazing speakers, New York Times bestselling author & self-proclaimed ‘love cat’ Tim Sanders (who has a new book by the way, Today We are Rich, that I will be talking about soon), talked about how our brain diet- what we put in our head- is just as important as what we feed our bodies.  How we need to feed it with the positive (and authentic, of course) and stay away from the negative, to prosper.

That’s why SOBCon is such a great experience for the participants.  Amongst some of the best and brightest minds out there, my mind fed on high-level thinking, positive feedback and helpful, constructive insights.  I think about this and the power it will have in influencing my work today and in weeks to come.  We all need to feed on this and reject consuming the negativity.

Think about what happens when you receive negative feedback.  You could have 10 fantastic blog comments or 20 positive Amazon.com reviews, and then one negative one pops up.  What do you do?  If you are like me and most of the people I know, you fixate on the negative one.  Why should one comment have so much more power than 10, 20 or even just one positive one?  It shouldn’t.

Tim Sanders used a great metaphor that he learned from his grandmother about walnuts.  You can’t eat the whole thing, but you can crack it open, eat the nut and discard the shell. Do the same thing with what you are putting in your head.  Consume what’s good for you and discard the part that isn’t.

Now you know that I am not into flattery for the sake of flattery and I hate “smoke blowing”, but there is something to be said about feeding on the negative.  I do not think that constructive criticism- that which is meant to help you grow and improve is negative.  Actually, I think it’s a fantastic favor.  But that differs hugely than words, imagery and notions that are just meant to be mean spirited, depressing and an emotional drain.

At SOBCon, I was able to feed my brain fantastically.  I received fantastic feedback from my presentation from seasoned speakers like Tim Sanders, Michael Port, Steve Farber, Jonathan Fields, Barry Moltz and more.  I had insightful discussions with my mastermind groups, which included Lou Imbriano, Sean McGinnis, Jeanne Male, Cate Colgan, Cali Yost and Jim Everett.  I got to record video with one of my favorite co-conspirators, Danielle Smith as well as the fantastic Marla Schulman.  I had time to brainstorm with Chris Brogan.  I witnessed my dear friend Mark Horvath receive tools for his advocacy for homelessness courtesy of GMC (use of a new GMC Terrain for a year) & Murphy Oil (Free gas for a year).  I received fantastic feedback from and got to hang out with amazing folks like Liz Marshall, Greg Hartle, Cathy Brooks, Drew Marshall, Amber Cleveland, Derek Halpern, Connie Burke, Phil Gerbyshak, Angel Djambazov, Joe Sorge, Molly Cantrell-Kraig, Steve Woodruff,  Mark Carter, Judy Martin, Geoff Livingston, Lisa Petrilli, Estrella Rosenberg, Laura Petrolino, Joel Libava, George Krueger & Mary-Lynn Foster, Catherine Morgan, Sarah Robinson, Carol Tice, Connie Dieken, the event organizers, Liz Strauss and Terry “Starbucker” St. Marie and many, many other fantastic folks.

This is what my brain needed and I will try to stick to my diet. What can you do to keep feeding on information and insights that will fuel you to be better?