Confronting Information Overload Paralysis In The 21st Century
In The Archetypes Of The Mature Masculine the magicians are the ones who claim to be the knowledge leaders. The ones who feel they've never learnt enough. They’re constantly reading and studying countless pieces of information. We find them neurotically obsessing over which one is accurate enough for them act upon.
Internal dialogue of a neurotic magician
“THERE’S MORE INFORMATION! I CAN’T DO ANYTHING YET!! I STILL HAVE TO LEARN MORE!!!”
If there’s anyone that understands the battle with this it’s me. This post is just as much for me as it is for you. I love learning and love to be completely prepared before embarking on something new. I designed my website as a curation tool. A place to organise all the information that has helped me grow into a better person. But so often this hunt for more knowledge has paralyzed my actions. Finding myself stuck in limbo between the endless universe of articles, books and videos. I’m drawn in by new pieces of information that I FEEL like I NEED learn. It can become a neurotic habit if not carefully monitored.
We feel like we NEED to learn an abundance of information before embarking on a something new. Our mind is comforted with due diligence. Whether it be as simple as changing our diet or starting up a business. We meticulously read article after article taking notes and making plans.
On the path to this inevitable information overload we often arise across contradicting evidence of the ideas we recently held.
Now we’re confused, we don’t know what to believe!
What works what doesn't?!
Frustration kicks in, alas we take a break… eventually finding ourselves on another piece of information that contradicts what we thought we knew!
Now we’re anxious.
We toy with our own emotions because we can’t let go and just start something! Through this destructive cycle I have realised the cliche can be right a lot of the time:
Ignorance can be blissful.
Babies don’t plan to learn as much as they can about how to walk. They simply put one foot in front of the other and do what they want to do! Over and over again until they can walk. Sure, there’s probably fancy equipment you could spend time and money on to properly teach your child how to walk as quickly as possible. But the reality is, you’re consuming time searching for that one tool to help turn your life around. All the while you could have been falling on your ass learning from the best teacher you have — you.
Don’t waste time in planning that could've been seized in execution.
We have conditioned our intuition to believe there is a perfect path to take towards success. John Wooden, 10 time NCAA national champion said:
“Do not mistake activity for achievement.”
Our intuition is lying to us because we have let it be conditioned by a false sense of security. It’s completely rational to think more information will only help us achieve our goals. Often we forget that information isn't a precursor to success — EXECUTION IS. As a consequence of our execution in spite of knowledge, we acquire that knowledge.
I've spent days and weeks collating information on topics before acting. This has resulted in massive detriment to me. As I am sure many of you have done the same.
You have to find a balance. A balance between the warrior of action and magician of knowledge. Be self aware enough to look yourself in the mirror and recgonise this flaw. This piece serves as my admission, recognition and action.