Today you will be tempted—pressured even—to stay up on current events. To watch the news, to read a few articles, to check the stream of real-time events on Twitter. Resist this impulse.
Remember what Thoreau said: “To a philosopher, all news, as it is called, is gossip, and they who edit and read it are old women over tea.” Remember what Epictetus said, “If you wish to improve, be content to appear clueless or stupid in extraneous matters.”
Unless you’re a hedge-fund manager or unless you are a journalist, most of the breaking news out there is utterly irrelevant to your life (to say nothing of it being endlessly manipulative, exploitative and often incorrect). And following it comes at a cost—consider all the things you could have been thinking about and doing instead–which is paid by your and your family and the world around you.
Don’t watch the news today. Focus on what’s in front of you. Exist solely in the present moment.