I'm not going to start demonizing personal growth because it has completely transformed my life but I do have my issues with it because after all, nothing is perfect. To sell a personal growth book, you must entice the reader/customer into thinking what you're offering is exactly what they've been waiting for and that it will change their life instantly and because of this and the fact that the market is becoming more and more crowded, the promises that are made are normally a lot bigger than the value they actually deliver. There are no books in the world that can change your life. YOU have to change your life and the insights and tools that books offer can significantly increase your success if they are used properly but no amount of information overload will make any difference in your life until YOU decide to start taking action.
Reading tricks you into false hope/illusion of growth
Because of the over promise with books and concepts, when you are reading and someone says that XYZ will completely change your life, you're filled with hope and an illusion of growth and yes, this might make you feel warm and fuzzy on the inside, but the actual effect it has on your actual life is minimal and it's only a matter of time before that concept/idea has been replaced by the next one.
Smokes and mirrors (all talk – no action)
Because of all this fake promising and constant games of smoke and mirrors, you become overwhelmed with all these different life changing concepts and find it too difficult to pick one so you just carry on reading and soaking up all the false hope. It's a dangerous trap to fall into, and you probably know people who are guilty of this themselves and this is because they've read so many ways that are promised to be the golden route to success that they never actually take action or consistently stick with a concept or plan until it actually works. It's always the broke people with the get rich quick schemes and it's always the guy with noodle arms who is giving everyone who will listen advice on the best arm workout for size etc. I'm guilty of this myself as it's much easier to fill yourself up with false hope than to actually get into the real world and get your hands dirty. In most cases anyway, the best path to take is normally a simple one, which you stick with and consistently improve, it's boring and you can't exactly sell 1,000,000 copies of 'Do the basics and do them properly' whereas it's easy to draw people towards you with their wallets in hand if you have a new concept they've never heard before, which is why dieting techniques keep becoming stranger and stranger, they're running out of 'new ideas'
Everyone knows HOW to lose weight, everyone knows HOW to make more money and HOW to make more people like them but nobody wants to DO anything or get out of their comfort zone and grow because getting out of your comfort zone is well....uncomfortable.
Knowledge + action = power
The saying 'knowledge is power' is becoming more and more common because it's so simple yet sounds so good but it's not really true, I know smart people who aren't happy in area of their lives or they're not 'smashing it' – but knowledge is power and they're knowledgable, why aren't they powerful? Because theres an important part of the equation being missed...ACTION. Knowledge + Action = Power. Imagine now that you're reading things on how to improve various areas of your life and you're taking concepts in and actually implementing it into your own life, you're going to get much further than the person who just reads and reads and reads without ever putting what they're learning into action. Which takes me onto the next step of...
Take notes and review and see how its actionable
It's so important to take notes when you're reading because they give you a chance to go back over them and make sure that the information is really inside your head because when I read, I have a tendency to skim over words and sometimes not take them in as much as I should and because of this, valuable insights and knowledge could be getting missed out on which is the opposite of what i'm trying to achieve so in order to not waste my time, I try and take notes as often as possible whether this is actually highlighting and underlining certain sections in the book or writing the section down on another piece of paper and although this only takes a few extra seconds here and there, the value it creates for you is massive. Not only can you re-read the bits that you've highlighted so you really remember it, but you can also do something that I love doing myself and this is to take whatever the book has said and then ask myself 'How can I make this actionable for my own life' or 'How can this be implemented into my own life?' and by doing this, you go from possibly just sat staring at pages and pages of various books to actually taking in valuable information and implementing it into your own life. To be successful, you have got to be smart about how you work and this simple hack can shave off years from your personal success journey. Don't let everyone around you keep out performing you and out shining you, start growing today and start creating the life you deserve.
There you go, my opinion and thoughts on the dark side of personal growth and reading that not a lot of people are talking about so hopefully it allows you to view it from a more neutral position as I am personally a massive fan of reading and personal growth but also know how easy it is to get sucked into a trap of false hope and not taking action towards improving your life but hopefully I've given you a few ideas and techniques to start getting more out of your personal growth efforts. Don't get sucked into get rich quick schemes or '6 pack in 20 days' programs as they are all useless if you're not taking regular action towards your goals. You can read all the bodybuilding books you want but you won't make any gains until you get your ass in the gym. You can read as many pickup techniques as you want but you won't get any girls until you get out into the world and speak to them. Think of something you've read recently and decide how you're going to implement it into your life. Stop waiting for your life to change.
As normal, we like to leave you with some clear actionable steps for you.