Stop Reading and start taking action

August 29, 2015   

I am one of those guys who likes to read about self-development theory. I like to read posts about self-discipline, about self-improvement, about being healthy, etc. Yet, when it’s time to start applying what I’ve read, it feels so damn hard and overwhelming that I stop doing it after two or three days. No more.

I believe that this happens because, when we read so much of this stuff, we’re trying to copy the habits and methods that worked for others. Now, don’t get me wrong: you can apply methods that successful people use, that’s a good source of inspiration, but, you should figure out what’s best for you first. You will see that if you stop reading so many posts that tell you exactly all the steps you need to become more disciplined and actually start figuring out what will work best FOR YOU, you will see improvements.

Here, listen to this: if you still WANT to read more about those subjects, do the opposite: first, start DOING. Then, start READING and figure out if what you DID was included or recommended in the stuff you read. That’s a good feedback loop. You will also get in the habit of DOING first, and adjusting after. For instance: let’s say you want to get in shape. Instead of spending a whole week reading about all the steps you need to do, all the exercises, etc (which will increase the risk of you feeling overwhelmed with all the information you consumed and making it hard to take the first step), start running everyday for 15/20min 2 times a week and the other days of the week, go to the local park and do some pull-ups and do some push ups at home. Do this for 2 or 3 weeks. Yes, I know, pretty simple and you might think that this won’t help you get in shape.

But let me give you my example, you can believe it or not, it’s up to you: about a year ago I started doing exactly this. I wanted to lose weight, badly, and I was reading stuff about fitness. Weeks later, I said screw reading, let’s do stuff. I started running every day and doing push ups and sit ups. I also didn’t know anything about nutrition. I thought I should also read more about that. Instead, I simply dropped the bad stuff I was eating regularly (soda’s, junk food, etc). I ate clean as much as I could. After 6 months of this, I lost 20kg (45lbs), and I was happy. If I continued reading and reading, well, maybe I was still at that stage of my life today and maybe I wouldn’t have this blog today.

Anyways, if you don’t see any results after a while (by results, it can be that you weight 2 or 3 pounds less for example), then you adjust. Then you start asking for feedback and then you start reading about what other people do.

You will be happy that you actually had the will power to take action and you will feel like it’s ok to read and theorize now, which, in my opinion, is.

It will be hard at first, you will think that what you’re doing it’s not worth it, that there are so many people out there doing so much better work than you. But remember, everyone started somewhere, everyone had their doubts at first. You know why they succeeded? Because they took action. They started. That’s what you need to do. Once you get the momentum rolling, nothing can stop you. You will improve every day, even if just for a little bit.

Now, stop reading this, and go take action.

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