Find Happiness by Turning Off the TV

by Stephen Mills on February 28, 2009

If you spend 60 minutes watching TV today, that is 60 minutes of your life that is gone forever.  That is 60 minutes that you will never get back.  When you are lying on your deathbed, will you look back and be glad you spent 60 minutes of your life watching that show?

Spend 60 minutes doing one or more of these things instead:

  • Read a great book
  • Exercise
  • Take a walk in the beautiful sunshine and think about what you have
  • Learn something new
  • Do something totally different – something that is not you
  • Talk with your partner
  • Read aloud to your children
  • Tell your friends how important they are to you
  • Declutter your home
  • Meditating
  • Cherishing your pets
  • Listening to the sounds of nature
  • Work on discovering your life’s purpose
  • Say 100 positive affirmations to yourself out loud
  • Smiling, even a forced smile helps you think positively (interesting isn’t it?)
  • Volunteer somewhere
  • Go to the supermarket and buy some healthy foods
  • Make a list of the good habits you are going to establish and the bad habits you are going to stop
  • Read inspirational quotes
  • Accomplish something you have been putting off
  • Think about your values; what you must do to be happy and fulfilled
  • Make a list of all your commitments and commit to eliminate every one of them that is not essential to you
  • You decide, almost anything is better than TV

Don’t waste your precious life.  You have so little and you’ll never get a do-over.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Marj Galangco February 28, 2009 at 7:42 pm

This is very valuable advice. Thank you for this, you’ve got some great stuff going on here.
I believe TV is actually a great tool for mass education, however it’s very sad that it’s rarely used for that end. Thank God we have the internet for more useful and inspiring content!
Alex Mandossian mentioned the other day that his morning ritual is watching groundbreaking stuff from and I think it’s a good substitute for TV if you’re really into watching stuff.
I also wrote a similar article in my blog:


Stephen - Rat Race Trap February 28, 2009 at 8:21 pm

Marj, Yes! TED is great and there is some quality programming available on TV but very few watch it. I read your top 10 daily rituals post and it was super! Keep them coming please.


tom March 1, 2009 at 9:28 am

I personally have stopped watching television and instead watch shows, movies, etc. on the computer.

I think it is also important that people understand why tv is good and bad. They won’t simply stop watching it because someone tells them.
TV gives you filtered information and rides on a lot of fear.
Don’t get me even started on infomercials, I swear it is like a perfect medium for mind manipulation.
Seriously, when was the last time you saw an infomercial and said this product sucked? Didn’t you think every product was awesome even though you do not need it?
Plus i read studies that say that watching tv you become lazy because that mind goes into a state where it doesn’t think on its own.
Compared to the internet where you are brainstorming, research (which is the bulk of my time on the computer), you get to actually learn something and stimulate your mind.


Stephen - Rat Race Trap March 1, 2009 at 9:47 am

You are right about all that Tom. But I hope people will stop watching when you give them lists of things they know would be better. TV is the lazy way out for sure. I was a TVaholic for many years. I put in a deathbed quote to this effect

“Lying on my death bed, I probably won’t remember anything or think about anything from tens of thousands of hours I spent watching TV during my life.”

I hope people will recognize that when their time is nearing its end, that some things they do now will not be what mattered. Looking at it that way, some consider depressing. I consider it motivating because old-age regret sucks. Those tens of thousands of hours would have been much better spent elsewhere.


Shawn Christenson March 2, 2009 at 1:23 pm

These 3 are so very good:
– Talk with your partner
– Read aloud to your children
– Tell your friends how important they are to you

Great post!


tom March 2, 2009 at 1:32 pm


talk with your partner?
How practical has that been shown to be, i mean look around, 50% divorce rates on top other problems.

It should go beyond just talking to your partner, you should be making a stand for something because until you do, people will not respect you and they will step all over you.


Stephen - Rat Race Trap March 2, 2009 at 6:50 pm

@Shawn. Thanks Shawn. I like them all of course since I wrote them. In addition to yours I really like:

Work on discovering your life’s purpose
Cherishing your pets
Read a great book


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