Chaos seems to be turned up particularly high lately. The last month alone has been more random U.S. random shootings, the Paul Manafort conviction and, specifically, the heated Brett Kavanaugh debate.
No matter how political or active you are, though, you still need to manage your business. You still need to create. You still need to feed yourself, not to mention your family and your employees' families. And there is always something going on, which means being in a constant state of alert, combativeness and fear isn't just distracted, but unrealistic.
In short, if you are afraid that unseemly organizations are trying to distract you from doing good in the world, then just training all your energy on them will be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
There are ways to stay in tune with the world, and even make a difference in it, without burning yourself out with the harsh news cycle.
News knowledge without micromanaging
Pivot author Jenny Blake subscribes to the physical newspaper and uses it as her main way of getting information. Why? As she shared on her podcast, it keeps her engaged in her good work while keeping away the anxiety the 24-second news cycle induces.
Writing coach Alexandra Franzen walked away from social media all together when she realized how much time she wasted away from her actual work.
The commonality here is that they are focused not on the latest updated headline or click-bait opinion column, but on the actual, verified news they can use. You don't have to just read newspapers or shun social media, but you can wisely moderate how you consume news in your everyday life.
I explain this more in the TED video How to Choose Your News.
Their approach also prioritizes self care. Let's say there is something worth dropping your current focus and fighting for in the world. How can you rise up when you aren't sleeping, aren't eating and aren't strong enough to actually make a difference? Obsessing over news isn't just bad for your health, but when it comes to making an impact, it is actually unproductive.
Focus on making a difference in your way
When I was much younger, I believed I had to be a politician or a lawyer or something of cultural clout and significance to truly make a difference in the world. Luckily, I learned that being my highest self was the biggest impact I could make.
So, I studied technology and I dove into writing, and I became a specialist at both. What I gave was representation, as in people seeing someone who looked like me doing extraordinary work in my chosen fields. I gave others permission to be their very best, no matter what the odds.
Better yet, I did make a direct impact on the world through my field: My app Cuddlr showed that technology could bring people together, not just tear them apart; My book Porn & Pong argued that technological culture was as much significance as classic literature and historic music; and my The Bite-Sized Entrepreneur movement shows that having a diverse and unique business voice isn't a liability, but a strength.
It's great to get deeply involved with political movements, hands-on activism and worldwide initiatives. I've done that as well. However, it is important to realize that doing your good work in the world is a form of creating and molding the future, as you are helping to create the very world you want to live in.