Don’t just read, apply
Written by Jeff Lund @alaskalund
Danny and I were texting the other day and both decided that while we both didn’t feel particularly fu*ked, we could always use a little unfu*king.
This stemmed from me reading Unfu*k Yourself by Gary John Bishop. There’s an interesting dynamic that comes with reading this type of book. They aren’t the “Make your life better in 12 steps” bull that helps some, but is mostly for those looking for a shortcut. Which of course, there isn’t. Books that matter are the ones that tell you on page 1 or 2 that the problem is you, the answer is your, the power is you and it’s possible.
Here’s another thing about them, they are nothing more than social media fodder if you don’t apply what’s in them. Posting a quote that resonates with you, and others, will do nothing to changing anything about your life. Only action does and “likes” don’t count.
So, I wondered what about my life may have slipped, or how it could improve. I realized I had been getting nervous or concerned about really stupid things. I was worried about black ice every day this week, but the roads usually get de-iced before I drive to work. If there is ice, you just throw some weight in the back of your truck and drive slower. It’s potentially dangerous, but there are steps to take to make things safer. Why was I wasting any part of my day worrying about something I couldn’t control? It was a total waste of energy to give it thought outside of when I actually have to drive. That is an example of a bunch of things that were cluttering my life.
My life is great, but it is not perfect. I am incredibly far from perfect. Just because I read Essentialism: The Disciplined Art of Less, doesn’t mean my life is simplified, efficient and perfect. Despite agreeing with all the points in How to Win Friends and Influence People that doesn’t mean they have impacted my life. The stuff you love has to be applied, otherwise you have the right stuff in your brain, but you’re still looking for the shortcut.
Earlier in 2018, Danny recommended I read Mindset by Carol Dweck. He said, “Without knowing and understanding its principles, other books aren’t as valuable.”
I read the book, and it made sense. The problem is that we often times have lies we have told ourselves that success, and certain lifestyles aren’t for us. In Mindset, Dweck goes into detail about what really holds us back – the wrong mindset. We think that we have it or we don’t, not that anything and everything, can be learned, with the right mindset.
That’s why people have a ton of books in the personal library, but there is no discernable change in the life of the owner. “Gosh, she is so inspiring, I wish I was like her, she’s special.” “That dude knows what’s up. I wish I could live like that.” Just about every one of those people had to mire through self-doubt, risk, failure, everything that everyone else does. The difference between the reader and the writer is the willingness to act.
A brain full of good ideas is a waste of good ideas. Good ideas in action is beautiful, inspiring.
Don’t read a book, apply a book. And if you want to read something just for fun, there are plenty of great books on fly fishing by John Gierach.