I started my personal development journey at the age of 23.
I don’t quite remember how I got involved in personal development, but all I remember is being hooked on the idea of becoming my best self, and realizing my full potential.
I read a lot of books, listened to even more audio books than I can recall, and watched a lot of videos. I was hungry for information.
Name any author or any book in the personal development space and I’m sure I read it. From Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich, to countless videos by Jim Rohn, The Magic of Believing by Claude Bristol, Tony Robbins, T. Harv Eker, Brian Tracy, and the list goes on and on.
It felt good being on this personal development journey. I felt like I was growing and I was changing (and I saw the change).
There was just one problem…
I was changing, my life wasn’t.
As a matter of fact it seemed like my life was getting worse. Before I knew it I’m waking up at 28, close to 30, and haven’t really accomplished anything with my life.
I questioned everything I had done and known up until that point. All I could ask myself was “What went wrong?”
I read all the books and did the personal development like they said but nothing changed. Then it hit me: “I’m doing a lot of reading but not a lot of doing”.
In other words, I could tell you all the books I’ve read, and all the motivational quotes, but my life didn’t reflect any of it, because I became a reader, not a doer.
That’s when I dedicated my focus to reading less books, and focus more on doing. Now I pretty much read none.
The funny thing about it is I’ve gotten more results and seen more change in my life over the last 14 months than I have over the last 14 years.
I’ve also learned way more about myself by doing than I ever had by reading.
Funny how life works.
Now I’m not saying reading isn’t helpful and doesn’t contribute to my personal development, it did. However, I was too focused on reading information and less on executing on the information.
That was the problem.
Now let me go back to something. If you read my post a week or two ago on why working hard isn’t enough to succeed it seems I’m contradicting myself.
In that post I mentioned the importance of reading and personal development, and not to focus so much on doing and working hard.
Well let me explain.
I believe in life there are seasons. Life is a cycle. Today things need to be one way, and tomorrow it needs to be the complete opposite.
It’s the balance of life.
For close to 10 years majority of my time had been spent on reading and personal development. I acquired a lot of knowledge, gained a lot of insights, and learned new perspectives on looking at the world and success that I didn’t know or understand before.
I believe that season is over.
The season I’m in now is the season of execution and action. It’s the season of spending less time reading and talking, and all my time doing. I’m taking all the knowledge, insights, and perspectives I’ve learned in close to 10 years and executing it.
Goal setting, Building confidence, Overcoming fear, Having faith, All of it.
Reading and gaining new knowledge is important. However, if all you’re doing is reading and not doing, you might as well not have picked up the book in the first place.
So for me I’m not picking up any more books right now, I’m executing. I’m only reading if it’s knowledge I need in this immediate moment to help me take action more effectively, and gain results I want more quickly.
It’s why I read a lot marketing articles now rather than personal development books. It’s what I need to gain knowledge in this moment to help me accomplish the goals I have in the next 24-36 months.
So my advice to you reading this is understand the season you’re in.
If all you’ve been doing is reading personal development books, yet your knowledge isn’t reflected in the change in your life and lifestyle, then put down the book and start taking action.
On the other end, if all you’ve been doing is executing, and yet you still feel stuck and like nothing is working, maybe it’s time to slow down, take a step back, and pick up a book.
Don’t be steadfast in your activities, whether reading or doing. Know the season you’re in, and know how to pivot and adjust accordingly to help you move forward and progress.
What Am I Grateful For About This Situation?
I’m grateful that I was able to realize in time that executing on your goals consistently is key, and not just reading personal development books for knowledge.
Also I’m grateful that because of the knowledge I’ve gained through doing, I can help a lot of other people with the strategies and techniques I’ve discovered that has worked for me.
What Did I Learn From This Situation?
That though reading has helped me develop and gain knowledge, I now realize executing is where true personal development and learning occurs.
How Can I Use This In The Future To Become Better?
To focus on balancing reading with executing, to maximize my potential, and not get caught in paralysis by overanalysis, and achieve nothing.
Follow my journey as I document everything on my Journey 2 Mastery™ as it unfolds.
Read my last entry on pain of success or pain of regret. Which will you choose?
Thanks for reading!
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