Are You Being Fooled By Fake Progress?
I was watching an interview by a guy named James Clear, just the other day.
He's an expert on habit forming, and because of this interview I have his book Atomic Habits on my Amazon wish list. I'd recommend you go check out his work.
Anyway, he said something quite profound during the interview.
When people mention they have a goal, whether it be a half marathon, a financial figure or a cool side project; they get an initial hit of dopamine which makes it feel like they have worked toward their goal.
In reality they haven't... instead they only got excited thinking about doing it. But not actually taking action and doing it.
And we all do this with our own health and weight management:
Buy a new recipe book and say we will cook new recipes whilst the book gathers dust on the shelf
Sign up to the gym and let the monthly payments exit our accounts without ever setting foot in it
Downloading another free 7 minute abs PDF whilst the file sits in our documents folder
And it's this fraudulent perception of action-taking that means the scales weight never moves or the dress continues to be too tight.
The notion that it feels good to us, and therefore we feel as if we have done the hard work by wanting it, and not doing it, fools us into the false pretence we are making progress.
Which is why talk really IS cheap until you actually do something about it.
You'd almost be better off keeping your cards close to your chest so you don't fall in to this trap and working step-by-step in the dark.
And one way to avoid this false-action taking trap is to stop doing this one thing...
Stop consuming more-and-more things that you're never going to do.
And I can tell you from first hand experience I used to do this all of the time.
I would read a book cover-to-cover as quickly as possible so I can get on to the next one for a bigger dopamine hit and to tick another book off my list.
I can tell you that all it did was make me a faster reader.
I'd now rather read one book a year and let it change my life then grind through book after book whilst doing nothing with the information.
I have many more examples where I'd mindlessly try to burn through new info like watching Youtube videos or blogs but you get the point.
Be the person that does rather then says, and don't just become another information gatherer. You likely have a lot of the tools to get you to your goal already.