Are You Reading Instead of Taking Action? - Deepstash

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Are You Reading Instead of Taking Action?

https://medium.com/swlh/are-you-reading-instead-of-taking-action-df7ed894bbf7

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Are You Reading Instead of Taking Action?
One idea I've been pondering over lately is to what extent reading about self-improvement is a complement versus a substitute for taking self-improvement action. Complements and substitutes are terms that come from economics. A complement to a product is something you buy more of when you buy the product.

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Reading vs doing

Reading about self-improvement can be a compliment or a substitute for taking action.

  • A complement view to self-improvement writing is that it should aid with personal development - the more books you read, the more likely you are to work on improving yourself.
  • With substitutes, we really want that good feeling that we're doing something to improve our personal development. Reading about improvement can fill that need even though the challenges we're facing aren't being resolved immediately.

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    The dominating factor

    To find out if the substitute or complement dominates will depend on many factors.

    • The material itself. Some types of self-improvement provide a large emotional payoff but are weak on substantial follow-up. They don't make good complements.
    • The Nature of the self-improvement task. Some types of self-improvement work are difficult. In those areas, it might be easier to consume self-improvement material instead.

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    The problem with substitution

    Without doing and solving the main issue, more information will only be counterproductive.

    Trying to offer encouragement may be harmful in the long-run. The best treatment involves confronting the anxiety and not to reduce the tension by consolation. By offering sympathy, you are escaping from your anxiety - a short-term relief that reinforces the pattern of the original stress.

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    Effort

    Consider how much effort you're putting in to actively work on the areas you're reading about.

    If you are working little on the areas you've identified, but spending a significant amount of time-consuming information, you may be having some kind of substitution effect.

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