Now, this is weird. You came here to find another source of motivation to keep going, and you’re being told that you shouldn’t. Hang on, because I have valid reasons for this, and I hope you will agree with me at least on something.
You see, motivation is a slippery topic. As we are all different individuals, what works for one person doesn’t really do the same miracle for another, and it’s pretty easy to fall into accusations of laziness from that spot.
Here are 4 reasons why you should stop reading motivational books:
1. Our mind doesn’t differentiate fiction and real life
Well, of course, not on a massive scale – though some religions and conspiracy theories suggest that we are all delusional and the real life is different. However, psychological experiments confirm that our minds can’t really tell whether the thing is actually happening or we are just watching or reading about it. This is why we get so entrenched by a fascinating movie or a good book. Generally, it’s a good thing, but it can turn on you when it comes to motivation.
It turns out for me that the more I read and visualize my success, the less motivated I feel. I get this sugary state of dreaminess and numbness, which, I guess, appears due to the fact my brain thinks that I am already there.
2. These books create a dangerous illusion
The illusion we all like to play is named “I’m doing something good with my life,” and it probably has its roots in the first point. I bet you know the feeling you get when you start eating healthier or doing sports just to drop that the next day. You will feel guilty, sure, but you still get that “I’m doing something good with my life” feeling.
This feeling is addictive, because it gives us a sense of change and improvement without the actual strain of change and improvement (because we aren’t doing much in reality).
And somehow reading articles on how to eat healthier and become more organized has the exact same impact on me – they trick me into
feeling I’m doing something useful. Yes, reading is good, but I’m not doing anything that moves me towards my goal.
3. There’s nothing new to say
Okay, the Internet is the place where information is repeated over and over and over again. It is also probably an essential part of human nature, since useful information was the key to survival a long time ago. But now reading 15 articles on the same topic isn’t likely to spike your chances of success, because at least half of them will contain the exact same advice.
Do you know what to do with the time you have now? Do the actual thing you intend to work on or want to start! We are all motivation junkies, so let yourself occasionally read an article or two, and publish your favorite quote once a week. This will help you both save time and stay on the verge of your emotional state.
“The best career advice I’ve gotten is to stay focused, keep moving forward.” – Tyga
4. No one can do that for you
This is one of my personal favorites, because I am the kind of person who thinks that if you aren’t enjoying something, you shouldn’t do it. Don’t get me wrong, I have this on a scale a human being should not have – all in all, we all have things we don’t like doing, and they are unlikely to end. Raised by parents with a “you must” mindset, I once made up my mind to not do a single thing I didn’t like, and that didn’t turn out so well.
The good thing about motivational books and a motivation-friendly attitude is that you can learn a lot about yourself, your likes and dislikes. The bad thing is that it leaves the feeling that I can find just the right motivational method, and success will be easy (at least, that is true for me). Sadly – no, you can’t take the actual work out of the work by clever motivational techniques and habit-creating strategies.
Quitting the almost-compulsive reading of motivational articles is a good thing on its own, but as you probably know, you need to do something else to fill the void and make the habit stick.
Here are 3 things to do instead :
1. Take time to find your passion
Yes, this is another boring piece of advice you’ve heard a gazillion times. At least I thought so before I actually stumbled upon my passion. Do you know what you need to do? Try things, and one of them will inevitably attract your attention. What do you need to have to try things? Time. Reading motivational articles also requires time. I’ll leave you to do the math on your own.
2. Don’t stress out about moving too slowly
This is another personal favorite, because I am always not fast enough, not epic enough and not successful enough. Motivational articles, if consumed in the wrong way and in amounts I used to consume them, can do more harm than good in such case. You read how other people become successful, compare their lives to yours, and find out you are doing badly so the vicious cycle continues. In general, try not to do anything that makes you feel a twitch of doubt about yourself. This includes watching your friend’s cool vacation photos, cyber stalking your ex and crying over some girl’s Instagram photo with a thousand-roses bouquet.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – H. Jackson Brown Jr.
3. Explore other things that motivate you
Now when I feel down or useless I go to people who love me and ask them to say something nice. I often have a look at my published articles and other things I’m proud of. It can be anything from a bubble bath to talking to your significant other, as long as it gives you a boost in confidence and helps get back on track. Of course, at first it will be difficult and you will crave reading articles, but soon you will find that life has a lot more motivational things to offer you.