There Is No Blueprint
Do not fool yourself into thinking there is a one-size-fits-all solution to your problems.
Recently my Medium recommendations list has become full to the brim with stories like 10 Incredible Quotes to Guide Your Life and 20 little habits that will help you live a better life. I am not sure if this was the fault of the tags I followed — I recently ran a purge on my followings, so I’ll find out soon enough—or if the internet has just become saturated with these types of articles. Either way I am worried by the rising trend of self-improvement-promoting listicles because of their potential for encouraging counter-productive development.
If you want an example of what articles I’m talking about then check out some of Larry Kim or Benjamin P. Hardy’s pieces. I am not being dismissive or demeaning towards their work. On the contrary, I am very appreciative of what they put out, and, in fact, used to follow them both on Medium until my aforementioned following cleanse.
It is not the content itself that worries me. What worries me is that people might invest more in these articles than simply taking the proffered tips under consideration. My big fear is that people reading 7 Important Habits That Will Boost Your Intelligence come away from the article thinking “that’s amazing, what great information! Now all I need is to develop these 7 habits in myself and I will be successful too.” No. Wrong attitude.
By immediately embracing the suggestions in 7 Character Traits of People Who Accomplish Exceptional Things as fact, you put yourself at a disadvantage. Not everyone is the same, what worked for Bill Gates might not work for you. So do not decide to commit to any of the tips promoted by these articles without due consideration.
By all means, attempt the strategies suggested by these stories, but don’t be afraid to drop them if they are not working out for you. Remember that no strategies for success are are guaranteed to work, so please, give them the benefit of the doubt before you pledge yourself to them.