Published on October 25th, 2013 | by Jason Goldberg
Confessions of a Self-Help Whore (less reading, more action)
The following is a guest video post that I created for my friend, coach and mentor Jacob Sokol (thats him in the intro and the outro rockin out with his badself) and his company Sensophy! I am super inspired by him and his work and was SO honored to contribute to his community. If you dig my stuff, check him out too for more awesome wisdom!
I am a whore…
An Amazon.com book whore to be specific…A self-help, personal growth and professional development book whore to be REALLY specific. As of today, I have 137 books sitting in 7 different wish lists, each with the promise of unlocking the secret to an ideal life, to a thriving business, to everlasting happiness and to freedom in everything! And that’s on top of the hundreds of books, both in-hand and electronic, blogs, newsletters, and articles I have read or read regularly! This lifestyle started about 3 years ago when I first started studying personal development and I quickly became a philandering, serial dater of manuscripts, always on the hunt for the next genius piece of writing that was going to unlock the secrets that the expertly designed covers and carefully gathered testimonials promised. Mmm…Look at the hardcover on that one! Is that the ITC new Baskerville font? You naughty, naughty publisher. I can’t wait to crack the spines and get cozy with my new harem of non-fiction femme fatales! The smell of dry-proof highlighters and the crease of dog-eared pages of wisdom became the usual suspects of my obsession.
Wow, I have never felt creepier than I do RIGHT now…
So you are probably thinking, with all of the wisdom and knowledge I have consumed and the excitement I have for continuing to learn and absorb, I must have it all figured out by now, right? LOL, not quite!
It was more than a quest of knowledge for me, I became an addict. I was addicted to the acquisition of wisdom and the fulfillment of my desire to know so much about so many different topics. BUT I was missing one key component. More on that in a bit.
Let me rewind for a sec. After spending nearly 15 years in IT (sound like someone else you know from around these parts) and becoming the director of a tech firm and making 6 figures by the age of 25, I should have been THRILLED with how things had turned out. But, honestly I was just about done with life on this planet. I’m not saying I seriously considered ending it all, but I was definitely not in a good place and knew I couldn’t continue on the path I was on for much longer. I was over 330 pounds, constantly stressed, anxious, depressed and damaging relationships with people I cared about. My work was my life and that work was not fulfilling me AT ALL! I had always had the desire to be an entrepreneur, to build something from my own vision, my own blood sweat and tears, something that would be bigger than just me or just business or just profit AND that would really improve people’s lives.
And so finally, after making excuse after excuse and getting sick and tired of being sick and tired, I took the leap, left my comfy cocoon of chaotic consistency and started my first company with a couple of partners. We did pretty well, made some money, won some awards and guess what, I still was not feeling it. I changed my environment, became a business owner and was living life much more on my own terms BUT I still was feeling like crap. I left that start-up after about a year.
WTF gives universe???
I got super vulnerable, trusted my gut and risked it all and this is the reward I get?
So do you remember a couple of minutes ago when I told you I was addicted to learning but was missing one key component…well here it is…ACTION! 6 letters, 1 word, infinite implications! I was reading, talking about and sharing all of this knowledge on how to live an ideal life but I WAS NOT TAKING ACTION TO LIVE IT MYSELF! What do you mean it doesn’t just happen by osmosis? I thought that simply reading the book, nodding my head in agreement and telling people how fascinating I am for having an interest in the subject matter would transform my world? Fat chance (pun intended).
I remember when this point was really driven home for me.
We were on a call in the Sensophy Inner Circle group and Jacob busts out with “I’m really just a tool”…really dude, I mean you are pretty confident and have some NYC swag but I wouldn’t say you were a tool?
But alas, that’s not what he meant. He was saying that the wisdom he shares and that we all read, watch, listen to and crave is like any tool you would buy at your local hardware store. If you buy the tool, bring it home and put it on a shelf in the garage, does the creaky fan in the living room miraculously smooth itself out? Do the new floorboards suddenly install themselves and does that damn toilet in the guest bathroom ever stop running? NOPE! Unless the tool is used in a deliberate, purposeful and diligent manner through bold ACTION, it is simply one more piece of “shelf-help” as a good friend of mine puts it.
It was a fantastic reminder for me and it is THE big idea I want to leave with you. The answer is RARELY more education but instead MORE ACTION! Any action, big or seemingly insignificant, that you take to live the wisdom you are acquiring will jumpstart the momentum of ideal living that many of the books I drooled over promised but that only I could truly deliver for myself. ACTION LEADS TO TRACTION!
So how has it worked out for me?
I have lost over 130lbs, lowered my stress level significantly, have a love of life (and still a love of learning), an amazingly supportive and wonderful wife and have started my own coaching practice called MEometry to help people like me to Conquer Their Fears, Plan Their Escape and Create Something Epic! People who want to transition from being a “future-preneur” (someone who wants to take the leap but hasn’t yet for any number of reasons) to a full-fledged entrepreneur, living the life and building the business they have always dreamed of.
I challenge you over the next 5 days to take bold, deliberate and courageous ACTION at least once per day using the tools you already possess. Take 5 minutes now and think about the 5 things that, if you made progress of ANY kind on them, would benefit your life in tremendous ways.
Maybe it’s starting that 15 minute daily walk you have been talking about doing, or spending 30 uninterrupted minutes per day writing so that you can finally get that first blog post published. Perhaps it’s carving out 1 hour a couple of times per week to have a meaningful conversation with someone who will energize and encourage you to create the reality that will truly fulfill you. I’m going to ask you to take one more step. Take just a few seconds and drop a comment below and let us know what action you are committed to taking in the next week! A little accountability goes a LONG way and we are all here to support you!
Today is the day. Enough is enough. You are worthy. You are deserving. You were made for greatness. Say it, believe it, become it, and LIVE IT!
As for me, I’m off to take action and clean out that wish list (how did “50 Shades of Grey” get in there anyways…)
Jason “JG” Goldberg