You, stop reading. I’m serious. Stop reading this right now, whatever you do don’t look down to the next sentence.
Well, if you are here already and succumbed to my pathetic attempts at reverse psychology, I guess it’s worth you staying for the rest of what I have to say. Life is to be lived. The challenges that we avoid and tasks that we procrastinate on are meant to be tackled head on in order for the process of growth to take place. You gain a nuanced understanding and the “how to” of theory through action. It is only through experiential understanding, that you develop a framework in your mind on how to influence outcomes to your favor. Unfortunately, you’re here stuck on this self-help or personal development trend. You feel like your life will fall in place after the next self-help book or article you look at. You just need one more piece of information to complete the puzzle. Then you can take action and become this ultra enlightened being who makes 7 figures a week whilst reading 1 book an hour, and having a dating life that rivals those of ancient monarchs. You will be fulfilled and feel no more suffering, but you just need ONE more thing. Before you know it, days, weeks, months, and even years have passed and your still stuck in the same old job, with the same old friends, and the same old body, plagued by the same old self destructive tendencies. However, recite self-help literature out the wazoo, telling your peers that the best way to make friends is to “seek to understand than to be understood” or the importance of meditation and spirituality and why they are responsible for their own suffering. Yet, when a friend says something you disagree with you automatically judge him/her as ignorant or wrong and when someone cuts you off in traffic you’re quick to shoot bird and mouth off profinaties that will have your great grandmother rolling in her grave.
The world of self-help essentially becomes another means of procrastination. The irony! You are the same person despite the countless hours of material you have read, watched, and studied. This goes against the principles of true personal development, which is to help you grow as a person. Don’t get me wrong, theory is important, even crucial. However, the application is where the real gains are made. The application is where you applied what all the techniques you learned in real time. Read up about how to build better habits? Good. Now go rearrange your environment to make it easier for you to take the small steps necessary for goal achievement. Listened to a podcast about how to build better relationships? Cool. Now go talk to the people you had in mind and have those difficult discussions which could, in the short-term, be highly uncomfortable. You get my point. Life is a dynamic game. The act of reading will definitely improve your focus and comprehension skills, but the content will not change your life if you do not apply what is taught. It is only through suffering the constant failures of applying yourself, reflecting, and re-engaging where you learn the experiential nuances that lead to you being effective. As a rule of thumb, if you spend 1 hour reading, you must spend 4 applying the lessons you have learned. Now, in the most respectful way possible, I bid you to get the F@%K out there and apply yourself. Stop Reading.