Ah, The Information Age.
A time when I can learn about Quantum Physics, Bull Riding, and how to make kitten sweaters all with the swipe of a thumb.
As someone who loves to learn, I love the quantity and quality of resources I’m able to get my hands on. For many years I’ve bought books, CDs, audio programs, and attended workshops and seminars on the topic of “Self-help”.
I’m so grateful for some of my favorite speakers like Tony Robbins, Les Brown, and Robert Greene, all who’ve been incredible teachers and mentors to me for a long time.
Not personally mentoring me, but through the power of the Internet.
All of the invaluable insight from these legends have positively shaped the lives of millions of people around the world…in large part due to the access of the information…on the Internet.
I think you get my point.
Here’s something I’ve come to notice after all these years though. As great as all of this information is, at some point I found myself at feeling stuck by it all.
By “stuck”, I mean I felt stuck in a cycle of learning and consuming tons of information, but acting on very little of it. It’s something they call “Paralysis by Analysis”, where you try to get so much information in preparation for making your next move, that you don’t make the move at all.
It’s easy to get stuck in a state like this because it starts out with good intention. Sure enough though, it goes from a small leaky pipe, to a small flood in the basement. One video leads to the next, one photo leads to the next and so on.
I haven’t even touched on the amount of mind-numbing info we expose ourselves to through social media. Even though it’s “normal” to consume so much media these days, I don’t think it’s always healthy for us.
Quite honestly, I think it’s safe to say that most of the information consumption we take in on a daily basis is of this sort.
The updates from friends, the retweet about what she said he said, and the basketball game we can watch in our cars on our phones, all make for a noisy mind.
Recently I find myself cutting back on a lot of the information.
That includes the helpful and the not so helpful bombardment of information being dumped on us everyday. From my non-stop marathons of self-help Youtube videos, my endless pit of Instagram scrolling, and my enormous consumption of business courses, all of it, reduced.
What that’s allowed me to do is to hear my own inner-voice more clearly and concisely. I feel as though the voices I’ve exposed myself to all of this time have definitely shaped my inner-voice, but now it’s time for me to fly out on my own if you will.
I check back in from time to time just to stay sharp and nourish my attitude, but for the most part, I’ve made my voice the guiding-light on my journey.
It’s not a bad idea to go on an information diet from time to time, just to reconnect with your nature and your inner-voice. Look at it like you’re doing a little Spring-cleaning for your mind. Even if you have top quality furniture in your home, if you keep bringing in more, eventually, it’s going to be cluttered.
My point is that in order reach your next level in life, it’s going to take some serious and committed focus. It’s hard enough taking the steps when you are clear about your path, just imagine how much more difficult taking action will be if you’re not clear because you’re paralyzed by all of the noise.
Below I’ve written my thoughts on how you can reduce the noise and get clear on what it is you should do next to advance yourself.
The first step is the hardest.
This is where you have to sit with yourself, without the convenience of distraction from the Internet, and discover who it is you’re committed to becoming.
In other words, KNOW THYSELF.
Everything grows from a seed or is built on a solid foundation. Taking the time to discover what you want to grow or build will eventually reveal the blueprint on how to create it. The same way different plants have different steps that need to be taken in order for them to grow, the vision you have for yourself has a step by step plan on how to manifest it.
Your job now, is to determine what type of plant you want to grow into.
Take some time over the next 7 days to sit for 10 minutes at a time, uninterrupted, and to answer the questions…
* Who is it that I want to grow into?
* What excites me?
* What are my natural talents and how can I enhance them to maximize my potential?
* What type of things turn me off?
* What characteristics have I displayed since I was a child?
* What does my ideal day look like?
The answers to these questions are seeds that you can begin to nurture and transform your life with. If the answers don’t immediately reveal themselves, don’t panic. Just like plants need time to grow, so will you, so be easy on yourself.
Lastly, remember that we are all works-in-progress, and that our goals and desires will evolve as we do. This exercise shouldn’t be done once, but done on a regular basis to stay up to date and in alignment with who you are and what you want. So be focused, but also be flexible enough to allow for adjustments along the way.
Once the heavy lifting of discovery has been taken care of, it’s now time to find the blueprint (information) to help you manifest those discoveries.
The saying, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear,” comes to mind.
Now that you, the student, is ready, narrow your mentors down to just 1-2. Mentors can come in many forms too, so have fun and find the ones that work best for you.
You can find mentorshp in:
* Youtube Channels
* Meetup.com Groups
* Books and Audiobooks
* Facebook Pages
* Online Courses
and many others.
There’s no one right way to do this, but here’s a quick tip that may help you decide.
If you learn best through reading, then a blog or book may be your best bet. If you absorb the most information through video, then I’d suggest Youtube videos or online courses. If you’re more of the hands on type, then getting your hands on experience through Meetup Groups should benefit you. If you’re more of the auditory type, then podcasts and audiobooks should make you feel right at home.
Choose the guidance from a resource that you deem worthy and a right for you. Make sure the person teaching you has the qualities that you admire and would love to one day emulate. More than likely, this instructor will teach many of the same concepts that others in their field are teaching. Therefore it can become counter-productive to get so many “second opinions” on what you should do.
You’d grow so much faster by just learning 1-2 actions plans and actually taking action, than you will just sitting down learning about plans all day.
The key here is to lower the mentally fatiguing work of having too many blueprints. Knowing your 1-2 plans and putting all of your focus on them will cause you to move more swiftly as you take each step.
Even when you hit a roadblock, you’ll have the mental space and energy to overcome it.
In the first step, you discovered who or what it is you truly want to grow into. In the second step, you found your mentors and developed your 1-2 action plans on how to reach your ideal lifestyle. In this final step, it’s time to put those plans into action.
In other words, let’s walk the talk.
It may or may not come as a surprise that there are many small steps you’ll have to take in order to turn your dreams into reality. This is the point where most people see the “to-do” list, and not do anything.
Don’t let this happen to you.
The key is to find out what step you need to take first, schedule that step, then take it without being too attached to the outcome.
I know this may sound counter-productive, but hear me out.
Sometimes, we can get so emotionally attached to a goal, that the thought of failing in our attempt to reach it causes us to feel fearful. To keep this fear at bay, find more joy and fulfillment in the actual practice of the steps than what you hope the step will give you.
Stay focused on your desired outcome, but be present in the daily work that it takes to reach it.
Take a fitness goal for example. If you had a goal to lose 100 lbs, realize that you’re going to have to spend a significant amount of time practicing good dietary and exercise habits. Thinking that you’re going to just bite the bullet until you hit your goal will cause you to eventually feel discouraged, and quit.
Your journey is going to be a long one, so take the time to appreciate the path, not just the end of the path.
Information is good, but too much information can be harmful, or at least become confusing.
Find a way to get clear about what you want so that you can find 1-2 blueprints on how to make it happen. After the plan has been laid out in front of you, take Nike’s advice and Just Do It.
While you’re doing it though, develop the right mindset that will allow you to enjoy the process in addition to the rewards you gain.
In just a little time, with just a little daily practice, you’ll be amazed with how fast your dreams start to materialize into your reality.
I wish this for you…and I’m routing for you.
Have a great day.