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Stop reading self-improvement books

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FierceRacoon

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As someone who has read a lot of non-fiction, my advice is know when to stop.
Somebody asked on this forum, what book to read after TMF , and got very insightful advice: don't read any. Just take action.

Just because a book is in a self-improvement section at Barnes & Noble does not mean that it is useful to you. Nor does it mean that the author knows more than you about the subject of self-improvement, self-control, willpower, influence, persuasion.

Some of the most persuasive people I know never read books on persuasion.
Some of the people with the strongest character I know never read books on willpower.
Some of the people with the best habits I know never read books on habits.
Some of the most enlightened people I know never read books on enlightenment.
And yes, some of the best business people I know did not start by reading books on business.

Consider this: books are products written for a mass audience. The bigger your market, the bigger the potential for your product.
Therefore, most books are aimed at mediocrities, people who aren't very good, don't aspire to be very good and won't ever be very good, at least not in that potential field.

Why? Because
- there often isn't a market
- because the best people are busy being excellent, while mediocre people are writing books about it
- because the best people are often not the best at writing
- because the truths of being excellent are often controversial, in many domains. They are simply not politically correct to make it acceptable to put them in a book.

There are occasionally niche books that do tell the truth and are written to help you become excellent. Aside from MJ's books, I can mention "Relax into stretch" by Pavel Tsatsouline and the related "Stretching scientifically" by Thomas Kurz - they wrote about stuff that works, is the exact opposite of much conventional wisdom, and is often not even known to professional gymnasts and athletes because many of those folks are genetically flexible, and children can learn to stretch by sheer brute force and repetition.

However, those books only make sense if you combine 1 portion of reading with 99 portions of doing. Meaning, you spend 1 hour reading, then spend 99 hours putting it into action. Otherwise it just becomes another fairy tale in your mind, which will make you arrogant but still incompetent. It is better to be completely ignorant than to have some random pieces of knowledge floating in your head than you never put into practice, and therefore that will never become real knowledge. In that case do yourself a favor and read some actual fairy tales, or go see some musicals. You will learn more and enjoy it more too.

If you really enjoy reading philosophy, why not read some classics? Aristotle? Confucius? perhaps Camus or Sartre, Karl Popper?
Then at least you know you are reading philosophy instead of confusing yourself you are reading something useful when it isn't.

There are other exceptions, if you are dealing with a specific non-mainstream issue. For example, you have a disability or have experienced abuse as a child and you are reading up on it. This is specific, targeted advice that is not meant for mass consumption.

But you don't need another book on the subject of how can I be a better human? If you really want one, find a religion. They have at least been time-tested.

Better yet, become good at something. At business, at coding, at playing piano, at raising children. If you enjoy nonfiction, read something useful for your domain. But please, stop reading abstract self-improvement stuff.

If you want better habits, find a coach.
If you want to stop judging yourself, find a therapist.
If you want to understand how the best of the best approach a given domain, find one of them and ask. Before that cultivate yourself into a person that they would want to befriend, or earn enough money to pay for advice. You won't learn it from the book - you won't learn it at all except through years of your own practice.

Stop reading advice from other people's lives and make something with your own. Get experience so you can give people "success advice." You will never truly learn if you are always waiting to be told, what to do next.
 
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WJK

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As someone who has read a lot of non-fiction, my advice is know when to stop.
Somebody asked on this forum, what book to read after TMF , and got very insightful advice: don't read any. Just take action.

Just because a book is in a self-improvement section at Barnes & Noble does not mean that it is useful to you. Nor does it mean that the author knows more than you about the subject of self-improvement, self-control, willpower, influence, persuasion.

Some of the most persuasive people I know never read books on persuasion.
Some of the people with the strongest character I know never read books on willpower.
Some of the people with the best habits I know never read books on habits.
Some of the most enlightened people I know never read books on enlightenment.
And yes, some of the best business people I know did not start by reading books on business.

Consider this: books are products written for a mass audience. The bigger your market, the bigger the potential for your product.
Therefore, most books are aimed at mediocrities, people who aren't very good, don't aspire to be very good and won't ever be very good, at least not in that potential field.

Why? Because
- there often isn't a market
- because the best people are busy being excellent, while mediocre people are writing books about it
- because the best people are often not the best at writing
- because the truths of being excellent are often controversial, in many domains. They are simply not politically correct to make it acceptable to put them in a book.

There are occasionally niche books that do tell the truth and are written to help you become excellent. Aside from MJ's books, I can mention "Relax into stretch" by Pavel Tsatsouline and the related "Stretching scientifically" by Thomas Kurz - they wrote about stuff that works, is the exact opposite of much conventional wisdom, and is often not even known to professional gymnasts and athletes because many of those folks are genetically flexible, and children can learn to stretch by sheer brute force and repetition.

However, those books only make sense if you combine 1 portion of reading with 99 portions of doing. Meaning, you spend 1 hour reading, then spend 99 hours putting it into action. Otherwise it just becomes another fairy tale in your mind, which will make you arrogant but still incompetent. It is better to be completely ignorant than to have some random pieces of knowledge floating in your head than you never put into practice, and therefore that will never become real knowledge. In that case do yourself a favor and read some actual fairy tales, or go see some musicals. You will learn more and enjoy it more too.

If you really enjoy reading philosophy, why not read some classics? Aristotle? Confucius? perhaps Camus or Sartre, Karl Popper?
Then at least you know you are reading philosophy instead of confusing yourself you are reading something useful when it isn't.

There are other exceptions, if you are dealing with a specific non-mainstream issue. For example, you have a disability or have experienced abuse as a child and you are reading up on it. This is specific, targeted advice that is not meant for mass consumption.

But you don't need another book on the subject of how can I be a better human? If you really want one, find a religion. They have at least been time-tested.

Better yet, become good at something. At business, at coding, at playing piano, at raising children. If you enjoy nonfiction, read something useful for your domain. But please, stop reading abstract self-improvement stuff.

If you want better habits, find a coach.
If you want to stop judging yourself, find a therapist.
If you want to understand how the best of the best approach a given domain, find one of them and ask. Before that cultivate yourself into a person that they would want to befriend, or earn enough money to pay for advice. You won't learn it from the book - you won't learn it at all except through years of your own practice.

Stop reading advice from other people's lives and make something with your own. Get experience so you can give people "success advice." You will never truly learn if you are always waiting to be told, what to do next.
Uh? If you don't want to read books -- then don't. I have read a lot of self-help books and I enjoy listening to others' ideas. Reading and listening to books gets me thinking about things from another point of view. I sure don't know everything and I want to learn more.

Today, I'm reading a book and listening to another -- both on M&A (business mergers and acquisitions). The one before that was about the current theories on how our brains work based on the current brain scan technology. A couple of days ago, it was a book on how to better approach and then solve conflicts and arguments. And I bought a new book today written by a dietician on how to eat better. I wonder what advice she'll give and why. One of my favorites recently was written from the premise that we breathe too much. We should only breathe through our noses. It had exercises to reduce the amount of air we consume to improve our health.

For me, this is a golden age. Anyone can write a book and publish it. The gatekeepers are all gone. I feel like a kid in a candy store. I can read all these people's books where they share their ideas without the old filter systems. I want to hear what these "average" people think and feel passionate about. But, I like to talk to everyone I meet and ask them questions.

Most of the time I listen to books so I can do something else at the same time. I can get my business bookkeeping done. I can exercise. I can get the dishes washed. And yes, I've made a lot of things happen "on my own" over the years.
 

doster.zach

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As someone who has read a lot of non-fiction, my advice is know when to stop.
Somebody asked on this forum, what book to read after TMF , and got very insightful advice: don't read any. Just take action.
I agree, I see a lot of the new people here have post a few threads asking about next steps and then cease to ever interact again. MJ made it very clear about next steps in his books. If you go back to playing video games and watching Netflix while you're waiting for the opportunity to break free of the script to come to you, then you won't unscript. Too many people chalk up the effort of reading an hour of a self-help book a day, along with their normal daily tasks as enough to make a difference. In order to start, that means you have to start and engage with the real world to help solve problems.
 

Kevin88660

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- because the truths of being excellent are often controversial, in many domains. They are simply not politically correct to make it acceptable to put them in a book.
Remind me of how civilians and military/government intelligence personnels live in different worlds mentally.
 

MJ DeMarco

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I agree.

And disagree.

I think there needs to be a balance, but I would never advocate people to stop reading self-improvement books.

How many people here have leveraged Wim Hof's cold water therapy and changed their lives?

The idea of getting in an ice cold pool of water never occurred to me, until I read Wim Hof. Had I not read his book, I would be missing this potentially altering life strategy.

How about "Why We Sleep?"

Without this book, I would not have paid more attention to my sleeping habits, and how they truly affected me the next day. Poor sleep? Poor productivity and poor attitude the next day.

I advocate reading as many self-help books as one can consume, in addition to your suggestion on reading about notable historical figures and biographies.

Want to get wealthy?

Read a bunch of books on getting wealthy, then MAKE A DECISION ON YOUR STRATEGY AND ACT... AND ACT... AND ACT...

So yes, at some point you have to STOP READING, and START DOING.

And then read the best book to solve your problems/challenges/obstacles to avoid potential circle-jerking.


For me, this is a golden age. Anyone can write a book and publish it. The gatekeepers are all gone. I feel like a kid in a candy store. I can read all these people's books where they share their ideas without the old filter systems. I want to hear what these "average" people think and feel passionate about. But, I like to talk to everyone I meet and ask them questions.

+1
 

Kennypaul

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I just think we need to balance the whole thing out. Self improvement books are good(not all though), but when we just read without acting, that's where the problem lies.
Infact, I never would have found the Millionaire Fastlane without reading some self improvement books first. So like I said at first, it's all about BALANCE, then ACTION.
 

Consolation

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It depends.

I just finished 12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson. One of the rules says that I have to compare myself to who I was yesterday. This rule, composed in one chapter made me sit down at least more than half an hour everyday learning Adobe Illustrator.

Another rule is to be precise on your speech. Would you believe it I applied this rule to write sales copy? Next rule - tell the truth, or at least don't lie. If customers ask me about the products I'm selling, I tried hard not to lie. It might be beneficial for me, but I realized truth is also a value skew.

The Secret by Rhonda Rhymes? I don't read that. Never had any intention.
Tai Lopez books? Definitely no.
Gary V books? Some of you might be a fan, I'm not.
RDPD by Robert K.? I don't like it.
Think and Grow Rich? I couldn't finish it.
Mark Manson F*ck book? I've read it. Not on my favorite list, though.
Power of Now? I prefer to 'savour' any books that I'm reading. So far I like this book.
Jocko Willink book? I've read it. Good book. But I have no idea why it's not on my favorite list.

So, yeah it depends.
 

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Books have helped me so much over the years.

“Just take action” - okay cool but so does everyone else on the planet.

All action, no books > years lost trying to figure out what works
All books, no action > years lost trying to guess what might work

Just like diet, gym, sleep etc - learn to use books in the right way with a good balance.

The fact we can get a million dollar education delivering to our door for a few dollars is a miracle.
1000s of years of people would have never imagined such a thing.
 

Ismail941

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Once you realize that Books Are Supplementary as Reference and not Primary at some point of your Life Journey -> It will be a Game Changer.
 

doster.zach

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“Just take action” - okay cool but so does everyone else on the planet.
I think the point is that people he is referencing already reading plenty of books, never acting.

Books are fantastic, they are 1 on 1's with people with extensive knowledge.
 

Mattie

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If you want better habits, find a coach.
If you want to stop judging yourself, find a therapist.
This is just about the same with coaches, therapists, psychologists, etc. I just learned this since I was 12 besides Self-improvement books. It's all subjective to interpretation since really human nature itself is not perfectionism.

What I've noticed online and offline is you believe and authority in any field is going to be flawless and have certain "Ideal" standards and fit a specific "Ideal" of expectations subjective to your perception and what is happening in your experience. They can be your hero or villain at the same time. They still will hold negative or positive qualities. They will still have imperfections, make mistakes, go through the same process of growth.

Everyone of them has their own experience they tie into their authority whether it is an informational product, giving you advice in an office, or online on whatever topic.

This is why M.J. states he does not do webinars, seminars, and etc, because his books speak for themselves, and scale. He doesn't probably have the time to sit in an office with a million people lined up at the door to ask a 5 minute 1 question and give a 1 minute answer.

Naturally, this is what we're all learning in Gen X anyway. We were sold a lot of other people's experiences, signed up for those therapists, coaches, psychologists, ministers, teachers, guru's, or whatever label they gave us and had to find ourselves the truth.

As I already pointed out PTSD Virtual Reality Therapy did not exist and that being said those authorities in the past did not have the information or the right treatments for Vietnam Vets today.

They fought the war back in the 60's and 70's and had to wait until the last few years for a treatment that didn't exist. They listened to many "Authorities" that said do this method, technique, and tool. This was not effective long-term.

Then you had them saying marijuana and psychadelic drugs were bad for us. Now in 2021 it's a good thing for people.

Information is just for you decipher what is effective for you and whether it actually works or not, and that is only through your own trial and error.

As with certain medications were good for you, and ended up being terrible side effects long-term from the 1960's.

Televisions was good for you. Radio was good for you. Then we're not talking about "Programming" and "Conditioning of the mind in 2021."

Mobile phones are good for you and taking selfie's in dangerous places where some individuals have been wounded from stupidity.

Then the Pokemon Go had some situations where people got hurt.

There is information in library archives through the centuries that give quality information we do today, and misinformation back in certain era's we might just feel is stupid.

We decide what kind of content we choose to munch on and how it has a positive or negative cause and effect.
 
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Books have helped me so much over the years.
....

The fact we can get a million dollar education delivering to our door for a few dollars is a miracle. 1000s of years of people would have never imagined such a thing.
I find that one book leads to another. I have bought 2 more books over the last couple of days because they were mentioned in the book I was listening to. They sounded interesting.
 

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Let's get clear on your point:

"Don't read books to avoid implementation."

Because the idea of not reading books is the dumbest idea ever.

Of course, read the books. Read all the books. Read books you think are stupid, read books you agree with, read books that advance your education, read books that are just for fun.

Leaders are readers.

Yes, if your entire life is about achievement -- you're right. ONLY read books that move you closer to your goal.

But don't try to steer people into a black and white world. It doesn't exist.
 
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Antifragile

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I’m re/reading Catch-22 book, for both pleasure and action! I keep thinking of how to increase my writing output (I don’t write for money, so there is no daily pressure to perform). Joseph Heller is a phenomenal writer to follow, I’m sure it’ll help me bring more value to my readers.

Time will tell if my plan is a clever way to procrastinate or a productive self-help idea.

Also, reading books is a hobby, it makes me calm, happier and more satisfied than if I watched Netflix (which I sometimes do and know the feeling of time wasted disappointment).
 

WJK

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Let's get clear on your point:

"Don't read books to avoid implementation."

Because the idea of not reading books is the dumbest idea ever.

Of course, read the books. Read all the books. Read books you think are stupid, read books you agree with, read books that advance your education, read books that are just for fun.

Leaders are readers.

Yes, if your entire life is about achievement -- you're right. ONLY read books that move you closer to your goal.

But don't try to steer people into a black and white world. It doesn't exist.
I never know what books are going to really speak to me. Sometimes I listen to books that forward opinions that are adverse to mine. My goal is to get me to think and be better informed.
 

David Fitz

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Reading books has changed my life but I do agree with you that some people can get caught in an endless cycle of reading personal development books and take no action.
 

WJK

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Reading books has changed my life but I do agree with you that some people can get caught in an endless cycle of reading personal development books and take no action.
The operative words here are "take no action". Reading, gaming, and the whole list of other things are substitutes for taking the necessary action to further one's stated goal. It's also known as procrastination.
 

Martin Z

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If you imagine a tipping scale and have to categorize the execution/learning components in terms of a mental skill, I'd say 66% belongs to execution and 33% is learning/reading. E.g. learning a new language, programming, speed reading, confidence(well confidence is more of a byproduct of work but there are a ton of books on that subject), human interaction and so forth.

Because you can be the guy/girl who reads all the best business books, goes to every seminar, watches hours of YouTube videos but takes no type of action, well then you're just all show and no go. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it what we call mental masturbation? Like you get a dopamine hit just because you learn some new information, and your brain subconsciously associates it with moving forward?

On the other hand, there's also the guy(to the extreme) who just works his a$$ off day in and day out for 10 years, but never takes the time to learn new inputs or information to expand his current horizons, then you're actually slowing down your progress. It's just like with the dig analogy. Sure, you can take a shovel and start digging a big a$$ hole. That might take you a couple weeks to finish. But if you were smart enough(or if you valued your time more than just sparing a couple hundred bucks), then you'd pay a guy with an excavator who would do the same job in less than 4-5 hours.

Ideally you should have both though, as that will make you a freak of nature.

It's way different in physical activities though. As our movements rely a lot on muscle memory and physical coordination.

Think of it in terms of sports(y'all who played any sport know what I'm talking about). This reminds of my Football(soccer) when I was younger. When I was 11-14 years old, I used to spend hours and hours of my day watching YouTube tutorials on anything from skill compilations, various little tricks to more advanced techniques. And I would literally just absorb all this information, and not do anything with it. It can help with the visualization aspect of the game, but it's not a real substitute for deliberate practice.

In sports it's all about physical coordination, repetition and muscle memory. There's something called a Myelin covering which gets thicker and thicker as we practice over time. Sure, there are some mental strategies to it as well like game tactics, formations etc. But that comes along with playing real games and practices from thousands of hours of work.

The fact of the matter is, we learn the most by doing.
 

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The fastlane books are self improvement books so how can you say not to read self improvement books

I don’t read books much. It takes up about 0.001% of my time. But I’m glad I found the right stuff to read.

I was just some average baseball playing teenager with nothing special going on in my life. I just told everyone I was going to have a business and be wealthy.

I stumbled across some blogs and some books and started changing my life right around turning 18 and my life is very very very different.

Once things clicked, I was off to the races. Some people do become addicted to consuming useless information and waste their time, but who cares?
 

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As someone who has read a lot of non-fiction, my advice is know when to stop.
Somebody asked on this forum, what book to read after TMF , and got very insightful advice: don't read any. Just take action.

Just because a book is in a self-improvement section at Barnes & Noble does not mean that it is useful to you. Nor does it mean that the author knows more than you about the subject of self-improvement, self-control, willpower, influence, persuasion.

Some of the most persuasive people I know never read books on persuasion.
Some of the people with the strongest character I know never read books on willpower.
Some of the people with the best habits I know never read books on habits.
Some of the most enlightened people I know never read books on enlightenment.
And yes, some of the best business people I know did not start by reading books on business.

Consider this: books are products written for a mass audience. The bigger your market, the bigger the potential for your product.
Therefore, most books are aimed at mediocrities, people who aren't very good, don't aspire to be very good and won't ever be very good, at least not in that potential field.

Why? Because
- there often isn't a market
- because the best people are busy being excellent, while mediocre people are writing books about it
- because the best people are often not the best at writing
- because the truths of being excellent are often controversial, in many domains. They are simply not politically correct to make it acceptable to put them in a book.

There are occasionally niche books that do tell the truth and are written to help you become excellent. Aside from MJ's books, I can mention "Relax into stretch" by Pavel Tsatsouline and the related "Stretching scientifically" by Thomas Kurz - they wrote about stuff that works, is the exact opposite of much conventional wisdom, and is often not even known to professional gymnasts and athletes because many of those folks are genetically flexible, and children can learn to stretch by sheer brute force and repetition.

However, those books only make sense if you combine 1 portion of reading with 99 portions of doing. Meaning, you spend 1 hour reading, then spend 99 hours putting it into action. Otherwise it just becomes another fairy tale in your mind, which will make you arrogant but still incompetent. It is better to be completely ignorant than to have some random pieces of knowledge floating in your head than you never put into practice, and therefore that will never become real knowledge. In that case do yourself a favor and read some actual fairy tales, or go see some musicals. You will learn more and enjoy it more too.

If you really enjoy reading philosophy, why not read some classics? Aristotle? Confucius? perhaps Camus or Sartre, Karl Popper?
Then at least you know you are reading philosophy instead of confusing yourself you are reading something useful when it isn't.

There are other exceptions, if you are dealing with a specific non-mainstream issue. For example, you have a disability or have experienced abuse as a child and you are reading up on it. This is specific, targeted advice that is not meant for mass consumption.

But you don't need another book on the subject of how can I be a better human? If you really want one, find a religion. They have at least been time-tested.

Better yet, become good at something. At business, at coding, at playing piano, at raising children. If you enjoy nonfiction, read something useful for your domain. But please, stop reading abstract self-improvement stuff.

If you want better habits, find a coach.
If you want to stop judging yourself, find a therapist.
If you want to understand how the best of the best approach a given domain, find one of them and ask. Before that cultivate yourself into a person that they would want to befriend, or earn enough money to pay for advice. You won't learn it from the book - you won't learn it at all except through years of your own practice.

Stop reading advice from other people's lives and make something with your own. Get experience so you can give people "success advice." You will never truly learn if you are always waiting to be told, what to do next.
I completely agree. I spent I think 2 years reading self-help books, I learned a little and accomplished jackshit, things only changed when I was actually working on something. Yeah you will improve your mindset and learn a couple of new things but the returns diminish very quickly. At the same time I think that if you are the sort of person to be reading those books it puts you in an "improvement" mindset which means you are much more aware than other people and more likely to notice mistakes that you're making.

Though the problem is that those books largely have nothing to do with the problems that you're facing, it's just random information that doesn't fit into your life.
 

WJK

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I agree. Positive thinking without adding a big dose of reality and a mountain of hard work is basically mental masturbation. I use my reading and listening to fuel new ideas and thinking. I use my hard work to try out those ideas and then run with them for the parts that do work.

I love to study a subject or segment of a subject. So I read, watch and listen to everything I can find on that particular subject. Sometimes I take classes to find out more. When I start hearing the same ideas and facts over and over again, I know that I've done enough research.

Right now, I'm looking to expand one of my side gigs -- my privately held Trust Deed business. I'm looking for ways to expand my passive income streams featuring secured, high $4$ yields. Real estate in my area is a seller's market right now. That's my clue to pull back and save up for the next cycle. I always play against the market -- so this reality gives me a moment to explore some other options. And I have found some other interesting niches where I might be able to marry my current business with some new twists.

I'm reading and listening to the available books I have stumbled over. I'm watching podcasts. I'm taking a class that expands my knowledge of other avenues such as factoring and leasing. I talked to a Realtor friend last night. And today I made appointments with two different attorneys to get some ideas on how to structure some deals. I must make sure I'm NOT violating the usury laws, Federal housing laws, state licensing laws, banking laws, or taking on liability from the 3rd parties I want to bring into some of the deals. It's all in the structure of the deals and the paperwork. After I get all of this worked out, then I go see some friends and new prospects. If I can work out a viable structure that protects everyone, I know I can put together deals.

Will my ideas work in this market? Or at all? I don't know. I can experiment with some of the business structures to see where the glitches are. There are always problems and unintended consequences in any new venture or direction.

If this is the wrong market, I'll be ready when the human herd turns directions. And it will. In my adult life, this is my 5th business cycle. In the meantime, I can build up my contacts, methods, and my skill sets while I hide and watch this crazy market play out.
 

Not Most People

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I think a more accurate title/ message would be "Stop reading self-improvement books without executing"

I've gotten huge value from self-improvement books. It took me a lot to get to a certain baseline of knowledge/principles. Now I read more as reinforcement/reminders as there is a lot less that is totally new to me.

Essentially going from broad and soaking up everything to now looking for the nuances or valuable tidbits.

Without any real mentors for most of my life, I have no idea where I would have been exposed to many of the ideas and knowledge I got through reading.

Just my personal experience
 

woken

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I’m somewhere in the middle..

I meant to write something deep and meaningful and then realised its exactly what I’m referring to:

Reading lots of books is great. You sort of get that new years resolution with every new book. Absolutely nothing will change until you start doing something else than starting another one.


Read one book. Implement whatever the f*ck you’ve read about. Become good at it. Then start a new book.
 

FierceRacoon

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Thanks for all the input. So far my theory still stands.
Self-help books are written for the mainstream. So you will not get level 3 or level 4 knowledge in this way.

Once you have been thoroughly exposed to the idea of getting rich, more general-purpose books on money won't help.

Once you have been thoroughly exposed to the idea of being present, more books on meditation won't help.

Once you have been thoroughly exposed to the idea of improving your relationships, your marriage, your dating life, more general-purpose books in that area won't help.


You may feel that it helps, but it doesn't, unless you just find pleasure in such reading - and people also find pleasure in computer games, smoking and other not-so-wholesome pursuits. And once you have been exposed to 5-10 such directions, why get exposed to more? Why not try to make meaningful progress in one of those directions instead?


For a specific example, I greatly enjoyed "Zen mind, beginner mind." But it was also a waste of my time. It did not add anything to my meditation experience. (Funny, that is exactly what the author had been trying to communicate, so maybe I did understand it after all?)
 

WJK

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Thanks for all the input. So far my theory still stands.
Self-help books are written for the mainstream. So you will not get level 3 or level 4 knowledge in this way.

Once you have been thoroughly exposed to the idea of getting rich, more general-purpose books on money won't help.

Once you have been thoroughly exposed to the idea of being present, more books on meditation won't help.

Once you have been thoroughly exposed to the idea of improving your relationships, your marriage, your dating life, more general-purpose books in that area won't help.


You may feel that it helps, but it doesn't, unless you just find pleasure in such reading - and people also find pleasure in computer games, smoking and other not-so-wholesome pursuits. And once you have been exposed to 5-10 such directions, why get exposed to more? Why not try to make meaningful progress in one of those directions instead?


For a specific example, I greatly enjoyed "Zen mind, beginner mind." But it was also a waste of my time. It did not add anything to my meditation experience. (Funny, that is exactly what the author had been trying to communicate, so maybe I did understand it after all?)
OK. So you came to the same conclusion as to where you started...

For me it's synergism. It's getting me to think differently and see things in a new light. It's combining ideas from several people. I just look for the tiny nuggets that ring my chimes.

I'm taking off in a different direction to expand what I've been doing -- my side gig. Choosing my target market segment came from one book. The different types of transactions I can do come from another. But the central idea for the new business direction I'm setting up -- came from brainstorming and morphing both of those authors' ideas. (And I also have thousands of hours of professional training, classes, and reading to draw on -- added to 45 years of hands-on experience.) From that exercise, I came up with a whole new direction that is different from the ones presented in any of the books I have read and classes that I have taken.
 

Madame Peccato

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I'm reading a self-help book right now.

It's on a subject I'm interested in—visualization to improve performance. I'm skipping 70% of it because there is so much fluff in it. I don't need to read 4 different anecdotes for each technique. I'll read one to understand the technique's application, then move on.

Still, the 30% I'm reading is great. I'm starting to apply it in my life, though with tiny differences, since the book is geared towards athlete. I'm using it for other things, so I'm adapting it to my use case and experimenting with the principles.
 

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