Let me paint a scenario; you are a smart person, your life is in order. Not where you want it to be but you are not homeless and completely broke. Hallelujah! Okay. You see some flaws in your character; like how you can never be early for a meeting,stick to a diet, you can never get done everything you set your mind to do, most times when you manage to set goals, you forget the goals the moment you close the book and never look at it again. To make yourself feel good, you watch Oprah , okay maybe you are not that soft, you subscribe to all the news letters with list of ‘7 Secrets to Productivity’, ‘3 Tricks to Better Time Management’, ‘How to Get Your Life in Order and Be Amazing’, you know all these blogs and news letters with ‘How tos’ and all the list of everything you should be fixing in your life. You go to church on Sundays or you don’t if you are not into that type of thing, you listening to motivational tapes and have a lot of inspirational quote pictures on your phone or you even share a lot of it on Facebook.
Does this sound like you or I am way off the mark? I bet I am close to it because I do most of those things. These things by themselves are not bad. However, when they become mere activities and when everything you read in that book about ‘Taking Charge of Your Life’ and ‘Maximizing your potential doesn’t really work for you because one week after, you are chasing another self-help book on ‘Daring Greatly’ to fix things you never really want to fix, it becomes masturbation. Like masturbation, there is release but not fruits/offspring to show for it. (Fruits/offspring may not exactly be what you are looking for but you get the idea).
You are engaging in these feel good activities without result. These books and articles and tapes and shows are telling you ‘How to’ but few are helping you figure out ‘Why’. In the end, if you learn all the ‘Hows’ but have no strong ‘why’ you never act on it.
I have been in this situation a lot of times and this article, is mostly a note to self. Stop consuming self-help material for the sake of consumption. Start acting on what you know already. Stop reading those books and use the things you have learnt from all other books you have read before now. You don’t need more knowledge, what you need is more action. Anything you are reading that is not telling you how to take more action in your life is not worth it. Just empty calories.
Now,stop reading this article and start acting on those plans you have been putting off. That phone call you have been putting off, this is the time to make that call. Not another self help article please!