Physician Heal Thyself
I was reading an e-book on my iPhone the other day and hit the library tab by mistake which revealed every book in my account.
Since a lot of authors will give books away to try to get reviews (a profoundly unsuccessful tactic that I tried myself once) – there are a number of titles there. Skimming through them I thought about the difference between taking action and making changes.
Taking Action is often a cycle that is more of a stationary bike than anyone would care to admit. For many of us, the cycle works like this:
- You realize that something is wrong and needs fixing. Perhaps you’re in a dead-end job, or you need to lose weight or you need to figure out how to get your product out in the world.
- Realizing that you have a problem – you decide to take action to fix that problem. You do research and find that someone else also had this problem and came up with a solution – and their book is only $3.99! You pick it up, and (if you’re really motivated) you read a chapter and perhaps have a few “a-ha!” moments and start to carve out your plan.
- More likely you pick it up and go make yourself a coffee or a tea to sit down and read it and then get distracted by what someone posted on Facebook and then never get back to it.
I saw (what I may have mistakenly remembered was a) TED Talk that advised people to not discuss projects at the preliminary level with other people because their likelihood to complete them would diminish. The speaker cited a study that showed that discussing future projects with other people created the same chemical reaction in the brain as actually completing them. It’s why some people get super psyched about a plan they’re going to enact, have their friends tell them it’s brilliant and then there’s no fire the following day to complete it.
From personal experience, I can tell you that it’s easy to confuse buying something with doing something because by buying something you’re taking action – which is what you said you’d do.
Taking action doesn’t necessarily mean making change.
Change comes from consistency.
- Consistency means working on something repeatedly (and often daily) until it becomes an integrated part of you.
Change comes from focus.
- Focus is a skill. It has to be developed and nurtured.
- Focus is easier to maintain when options are limited.
- It is much easier to sit down and focus on a book if it’s the only book in the queue and not have a full queue and have your energy divided between which other books there you should read.
Some people are autodidactic. They can read a book, assimilate and integrate the material and take immediate action.
Not everyone works that way though and the irony is that people who are not naturally autodidactic will often read a book, not take action on the book, assume that something must be wrong with them because they can see that the material book is working for other people and then solve the problem by buying another book.
Your book will not solve your problem on it’s own.
The actions you take from doing the things talked about in the book however, may.
So please, stop reading this post and start making the change you want to be.
But also please come back – I’ll have a lot more material up to help stay whatever course you happen to be on.
As always, thanks for reading!