Have you noticed one thing about motivational articles, self-help books and videos? When you’re down and out, when you’re lost and searching for inspiration; that article which tells you how to focus on your strengths and get the best out of life; the great achiever who gives you tips on how to get your desired results; the superb motivational video with soul-lifting music which causes adrenaline to pump into your heart might be just the tonic your waning spirit needed. But notice another thing! Very soon, you start to get addicted to them. You’ll find that without reading one motivational piece a day, you won’t be able to get your spirits on a high and start your work. In short, you are now addicted to self-help articles.
Absurd as it may sound, it’s true. I have visited numerous bookshops and seen the shelves cluttered with self-help books written by various authors. There are books which tell you how to make friends and influence their thoughts and actions (How to win friends and influence people — Dale Carnegie), there are books which tell you how to grow wealthy (Think and grow rich — Napoleon Hill), books which help you boost your self-confidence and think positive (You Can Win — Shiv Khera, The power of positive thinking — Norman Vincent Peale) and books which help you use the power of your conscious and sub-conscious mind for your benefit (The power of your subconscious mind — Dr. Joseph Murphy).
Notice one thing common about them? They all mention the same thing. In a nut shell this is what they will say to you:
a) Don’t lose focus
b) Always believe in yourself
c) Follow your heart
d) Take risks
e) Never give up
f) Ignore the naysayers
g) Go for your goal
h) Face your demons and fears
i) Learn from failure
j) Be consistent and good in all you do
k) Stop procrastinating
l) There is no substitute to hard work
m) Follow your passion to the ends of the earth
n) Never neglect your dreams.
And so on and so forth. It feels good reading them at first, but later on you realize that you have been gypped. You have been tricked into reading the same thing again and again. You slowly find out that their words have replaced your own subconscious thoughts and instincts and instead of following your own gut feeling, you tend to follow their clichéd advice and more often than not, end up with a result you are not happy with. You invariably end up trying too hard doing the thing you naturally do best.
The best thing to do for shaking yourself out of this rut is to stop it right here, right now! Stop reading and start doing! Actions speak louder than words. Ask successful people on how they conquered the odds and got to where they are currently and their answer will most certainly never include: I read a motivational book, written by XYZ. That prompted me to change my life and it’s because of that book that I am where I am right now. No sir! Reading a motivational book is like drinking a bottle of chilled coke on a hot summer day. It feels great and makes you want more. But after the second drink, you realize that the first drink was good enough and you probably should have ended it there.
Now don’t get me wrong. These books act as great tonics when your spirits are down. But you should be mentally strong and know when to draw the line and not get addicted to them. I don’t mean to offend all the writers who have put up some great articles of advice and motivation on various sites. No doubt, your articles are great. But my message is to those who read them.
Readers, realize this! No book ever made anyone rich, no matter how rich it was in content and advice. No book can motivate you enough to change yourself. Self-Change is something which will happen at the right time, at the right place. Self-Change is something intrinsic, which is triggered most of the time by external events. We all seek advice and try to emulate those successful hoping to attain similar results, but most of the time we fail to realize that the power to succeed or fail lies within us. When the light of enlightenment shines upon us, when we stumble upon the realization that we can alter our own destiny no matter what the odds, when we develop the courage to follow our own heart and instincts despite how foolish and impractical they may sound, then an only then can we say confidently that we have stepped on the true path to progress and success. And this can be realized by stepping out of your comfort zone, by doing things which you have never attempted before, by failing and learning from your failures. No book can ever teach you all that. You have to go out there and grasp it yourself and if you truly wish to succeed, you will!
Stop reading, and start working on your dream right now!