I’m going to take a wild guess and say most of us fit into this group. I haven’t named this group yet. But I can describe it.
Its the group of people who read, read and read. We don’t just read.
But after reading we feel like we are suddenly better than what we were before.
And that feeds our EGO (a fake construct that we cling on to feel better). Suddenly without even trying anything new, we “feel” like we know a lot. We know how the world works, how product development works, how to build a business, how to market, how to sell. All of this without actually trying any of it.
This kept being a cycle in my life. It still is, but hopefully isn’t as frequent.
What we don’t realise is that this EGO, this feeling of “Now-I-am-better-that-I-have-read-a-million-articles” is what is preventing us from becoming successful. Isn’t that crazy? Am I saying more knowledge is making us unsuccessful? Isn’t reading going to help us from making mistakes that others did?
Perhaps, it isn’t black and white. But I know the moment we ‘feel’ better just by reading, its a bad sign.
Because we evaluate ourselves NOT on how much we’ve learnt from our own experiences. But from reading/taking courses etc which perhaps is a heavily filtered version of other people’s experiences. And without even putting the knowledge into action.
This is a downward spiralling trap. Also the more we feel better about reading a lot, the harder it becomes to accept the reality.
Reality that we haven’t done anything that actually counts.
Also once you climb this fake EGO mountain, you cannot move forward in life unless you fall. And the fall is HARD. We don’t want to fall, so we procrastinate from taking action, we lie to ourselves about why we don’t take action. Its way more comfortable than facing reality.
But its only after the fall, comes real progress. You accept the reality that you haven’t done anything and have no experience. The feeling of experience from reading is all fake. Its hard to come to terms with this.
But only then we are able to take action. Or only if we push ourselves to take action, this “Fakexperience” breaks.
This is why I recently made a resolution. I will always check myself whether I’m talking from experience or hear-say-read knowledge. And use the appropriate words. This helps me keep the ego under control. Also I don’t get attached to everything I read. Its just stuff I read. Has no meaning until I put it into action and see if it works for me.
Action point: Keep a note of all your actual accomplishments – things you made, designed, created and what amount of them were useful to others, added joy to their lives, removed their pains, that others were willing to pay for. This helps avoid two extremes – a feeling of I haven’t accomplished anything and a feeling of I know everything. Again this cannot include courses you’ve finished, unless it involved doing something in the real world.
This isn’t me “preaching”. Just sharing my insights hoping to connect with few of you and perhaps help avoid this trap. Or maybe its just a mental note to myself to be vigilant about falling into it myself again… and again.