Self help or shelf help?
Posted on 2nd May 2018 at 07:30
We’re often asked by clients about the latest “must have” book / video / online course / fill in the blank. There are thousands of them out there, so we’re sure you know what we mean.
They all tend to follow a similar format and promise to transform your life. And usually with minimal effort on your part. Perhaps by improving your general health or a specific health condition. Or maybe your love life, job or financial position.
With many people being curious and enjoying learning new things, it’s not surprising that so many of them end up on their shelves at home. But, all too often, they fail to live up to the hype.
Why is this?
Well, to start with, not everyone is a natural teacher. Or good at putting across their ideas – and what’s worked for them – to other people. While they may be able to do it themselves, it doesn’t necessary follow that others can replicate their particular success. It only needs for one simple piece of the jigsaw to be missed out for others to be unable to achieve the promised for results. Sadly, in many cases, it’s as simple as that.
Added to this we’re all different, not only personality wise, but in our skills and experience. What’s natural and easy to one person, is an uphill struggle or a near impossibility for another.
However, there’s another very simple reason for them not producing the desired result that most people seem to miss. And this is that any information is ONLY of value if you use it and put it into practice.
We know this may be stating the blindingly obvious, but it’s amazing how the majority of people seem to miss this simple fact. Regardless of what the information is, it’s only of value to you if you use it. Full stop.
In fact, if you don’t use it, you’d be better off not knowing it.
Why do we say this?
Because of a very faulty piece of logic most people seem to accept as true, without ever stopping to question it. And it goes like this. The most important thing is to gain knowledge, the more the better. Using it is of only secondary importance.
However, if you stop and think about it for a moment, this simply doesn’t make sense.
Knowing something in theory – which is all any knowledge is until you use it – has NO value to you at all. Its value ONLY comes from putting what you’ve learnt into practice. In other words, from rolling up your sleeves and using it.
While it’s true to say that a little “book knowledge” can be of great assistance, we can only benefit – or gain – from it by putting it into action.
We never cease to be amazed by the number of times we hear clients saying that they’ve read such and such book. Or watched such and such video. More often than not, they can repeat its main points or mantras.
They then go on to dismiss it, saying it doesn’t work for them. Interestingly, when we ask them why it’s doesn’t work they usually fall silent. Or talk about how they “tried” to do it but failed.
Either are an immediate giveaway that they didn’t put what they’ve learnt into practice. Instead, at best, they simply went through the motions before being lured away to the next “latest thing” with all too predictable results.
Earlier this year we suggested that, rather than making the usual New Year’s resolutions, to build on the skills you’ve already got. Dust off all those books, videos, courses and the like sitting on your shelves at home. And it doesn’t matter whether they’re still pristine (!) or have been used in some way.
Rather than letting them lull you into a false sense of security that you’ve gained some new knowledge, it’s time to actually use it.
In the process you’ll discover that less really is more. The things you use are priceless, those you don’t have no value to you at all.
Decluttering your shelves – and your head – will help you more than all the latest “must haves” money can buy. And, in the future, you’ll be a much more discerning consumer of information. Intuitively knowing what will actually help you – and you’ll put into practice – and what will only clutter up your shelves and your life.
As always, the choice is yours.
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