We live in a very strange world presently – while most of us have access to every piece of knowledge ever known to man-kind at a click of a mouse, why is it that only a minute fraction of the populace ever takes advantage of such knowledge? Is it that most of us are happy with the current state of affairs or are we just simply too lazy to apply any of it?
Interested in becoming a millionaire? check. Lose that gut and get a six-pack? check. Relationship advice to save your marriage? check.
Be anything you want and set your own rules. check.
Well, at least in theory all of these hold true.
See, the level of access we have to valuable information will continue to increase (along with the quality and accuracy) as we move forward with technological advancements – but the number of people who will actually benefit in a truly profound way will actually remain constant. (or even decrease) In my opinion, this number generally floats around the 2%-5% range. It’s because our society (especially in the west) is constructed in such a way that pain can be easily circumvented by some external stimuli – usually with very little energy cost. (ie: It’s hell of a lot easier to call yourself ‘depressed’ and pop a pill than to actually fix the root cause) I don’t believe most people can or will change as long as this element of pain is not being addressed properly.
When there’s so much quality information available for free of charge (with zero energy cost) – not only is it not worth much, you have already tricked your brain into believing that you have internalized that knowledge. I call this mental masturbation. Passive learning such as simply going over text and/or information is simply useless if you are trying to avoid pain and instill new habits that actually fix the cause instead of the symptom.
Access to information is not enough – you need a strategic plan, consistent execution and a feedback loop to improve both elements – otherwise you will waste time chasing the wrong train.
This is about positioning yourself as an influencer, evolving your strategic thinking, dealing in the millions instead of thousands, actualization, discipline – the very idea of self-mastery itself. Theoretically, if you have access to the best minds in the world, you should be able to master yourself right? After all, you are getting free mentorship from elite mentors. Not the case – this goes back to a very fundamental rule of life: there ain’t such thing as a free lunch – and the free lunches you do get are simply disguises full of surprises.
No blog, seminar or book can or will help you change – in-fact, getting absorbed in any medium too much will only have the reverse effect. Use information as a compass instead of a way to validate your own assumptions. Keep your action to mental masturbation ratio around 3:1 and only reference information when you have hit an obstacle and need counsel.
Everything usually comes down to how you manage your own emotions and yourself.
Those able to mentally manage their emotions without veering away from the grand strategy while being able to dynamically adjust tactics will be at a very unique position. A position that will bring much-needed leverage in swiftly navigating through any future obstacles.
This is why certain people become seminar and self-help junkies and get way too attached to the ‘idea’ of self-help. It simply feels good – and on a primitive level, since our brains are cleverly adapted to avoid pain and pursue pleasure, you are more likely to continue on this insidious path. Real self-help is actually quite painful because it forces you to look at yourself objectively and expose the dirty side of things.
The reason this illusive disease exist is because your brain actually tricks you into believing that you are making progress. When you mentally visualize the accomplishment of a certain goal and use it as a pillar to visualize another goal – it is not only being built on a very weak foundation, in many cases a foundation does not even exist. Each time you access the first illusion and use it as a stepping stone to move on to the next, it hardens. The more you do this, the less you become motivated to actually carry out the task because in your mind you have already accomplished this goal. A month, year, decade passes.