Too Much Consuming, Very Little Doing: The Formula for Zero Progress

Alright, I’m going to be honest with you. I have been consuming too much self-help content lately. But nothing has changed in my life.

I read books every day. I watch inspirational videos on YouTube. I listen to podcasts that give me a boost of motivation.

Still…my life is the same.

My income hasn’t grown. I feel the same negative emotions. And I can’t seem to fix many aspects of my life.

What is wrong with me?

After thinking deeply about it, I’ve understood that:

Consuming inspirational or motivational content won’t produce any significant outcome unless you take action.

Avoid accessive consumption

When you read books and watch motivational videos online, it feels good. You seem to understand what you must do to become your higher self and achieve great things.

But after you are done reading, watching, or listening, everything returns to normal — the same as before.

You don’t remember much of what you consume.

But most importantly, you don’t implement much of what you consume.

People read books because they think reading will magically transform their lives.

Sadly, it won’t.

When you read (or consume) something good, you must remember and implement it. Only then you transform your life.

Don’t just watch a motivational video to feel good at the time. Instead, watch it to make better decisions. For example, listening to Joe Rogan speak about the importance of “being in good shape” might inspire you to join the gym. But if you lose that inspiration an hour later, there’s no use. You only wasted your time. Instead, you should physically make changes by joining the gym and exercising consistently.

Behavior and action

Alex Hormozi says that reading tons of books didn’t help him make any transformation. His life was the same after reading ten to fifteen self-help books.

Instead, he says that behavior and action actually got him to learn.

“You learn so much more from your first 100 sales call than you will from every single book in the library on sales.” — Alex Hormozi

You only learn something when your behavior changes under the same circumstance. For example, you go to a restaurant and order a pizza. Then, you find a video where a doctor says pizza is not good for your health, especially if you want to lose weight. A few days later, you go to the same restaurant. But this time, you order a salad. It shows that you learned something because you changed your behavior.

How do you make progress?

Change your action and behavior.

When you read a book, take notes. You can use a notebook, sticky notepad, or your phone. Read the important lessons repeatedly so that you remember them. Then, act.

When I read How to Win Friends and Influence People for the first time, nothing changed. I wasn’t making any progress talking to people. I was still the same introverted, shy kid who wasn’t good at communication.

I saw a significant change only after reading the book three times, taking notes, and implementing the lessons from the book in real life. For instance, I’d listen more when people were talking, be interested in them, try to talk about their passion, call them by their names, and smile more. I applied these strategies in almost every conversation I had. Using these techniques helped me become a better communicator. I could see a positive change in my people skills.

The same goes for consuming other types of content — videos, podcasts, audiobooks, articles, etc.

Start journaling about what you learn. Go through them each day and analyze if you have made progress.

Don’t consume for the sake of consuming. Instead, do it to achieve a more significant transformation.