How One App Started my Self-Development Journey

After I’d condemned this industry for years

Ezequiel Vigo
Nov 20, 2020 · 4 min read

Self-help, self-development, personal growth and all those categories of books you see eternally in the corner of your mom’s shelf had always seemed like nonsense to me.

I found laughable the idea of some pompous “guru” selling you all these tricks to a “winning mentality” and persuading you he holds the golden key to unlocking all your ambitions.

Photo by Razvan Chisu on Unsplash

It all sounded the same to me:

  • You need to be obsessed
  • There are no shortcuts to success
  • Make the switch now and live like the 1%
  • Transform your mindset
  • This book alone will change your life

I couldn’t help but feeling these sounded more like regurgitated infomercial slogans that content worth reading.

A good rule of thumb is whenever something sounds way too good to be true it probably is. I thought this entire industry was filled with leeches that capitalised on wishful thinking.

It almost upset me. How could they get away with selling people all this false hope?

So through this reasoning, I condemned the entire self-development category of literature. I wouldn’t be caught dead reading one of these miracle books. Then I came across or was rather harassed by, ads for a particular app.

Blinklist

If you’re familiar with this app, the concept is quite simple. They take popular books, usually, that try to provide some valuable lesson, and extract the main points. They then offer you the option to either read this as a small article or listen to it in an audiobook format of a few chapters.

Needless to say, whenever anything is over-advertised to me, I tend to be a little suspicious.

The things that caught my attention is that, on average, these audiobook summaries should take anywhere from 8–10 minutes to listen to. They also explained you were offered a curated selection of books with the free trial so I saw nothing to lose. I decided to make an account and try it out.

Worst-case scenario I would be wasting 10 minutes of my time and however long it took me to install and later delete the app.

Needless to say, after listening to my first “Blink” (as they call it), I was hooked. The selection of free books was excellent, I’d never experienced more value-packed into such a small format.

I created a document to note interesting points from these books. This was a practice I developed. I found if I didn’t take a note of something new I learned, it would vanish in a few days like I never read it.

I was learning new and differing concepts at a rate I could’ve never managed any other way. I believed that a whole lot of these works, though useful, contained a lot of filler content. Being able to learn about and understand the main teachings of these books eased the process of trying new things and applying them to my routine.

I was lucky enough to find this app during quarantine, so my routine was welcoming to modifications and new habits alike. I found having this wide variety of lessons and concepts laid bare, it was easier to pick and choose those I deemed useful and get right to trying them out. It was an exciting time of self-growth for me.

The main reason this made such a big difference to me was making it a habit. Learning just a few bullet points of worthwhile information every day was enough to notice a change. The momentum that it caused in my life to try new forms of improvement every day was magical.

I eventually got the paid version of the app because I zoomed through the trial books. I recommend this if you enjoy consuming as much content as possible. However, don’t be quick to pull out your credit card, you can still get plenty of value from the free version as they also provide one free book every day.

Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash

This isn’t a paid ad in any form as I don’t think I could live with myself being that type of bamboozler. It also certainly isn’t a witch hunt against reading regular books. I traditionally do most of my reading but Blinklist provides insight into a genre that I can only digest in a brief format. That being said, if you particularly enjoy a “blink” I would encourage you to read the whole book. Often, there will be intricacies and messages that fail to appear in the summary. If you thoroughly enjoyed the overall message, chances are the book is worth your time.

Ultimately, I’ve learned to value knowledge directed towards self-improvement. This app paved the way for many (much-needed) changes in my life and the way I approach it. This isn’t some miracle, life-changing phenomenon. There is a long list of ways to traverse this journey of self-discovery and I believe each individual will find their own path eventually.

This is just an honest review of an app that started a journey for me. I hope if you try it, it lights the same spark it did for me.

“Worst-case scenario I would be wasting 10 minutes of my time”

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Ezequiel Vigo

Written by

Student — Passionate thinker — Aspiring Author — Obsessed with Self-Growth

Curious

Curious

A community of people who are curious to find out what others have already figured out // Curious is a new personal growth publication by The Startup (https://medium.com/swlh).

Ezequiel Vigo

Written by

Student — Passionate thinker — Aspiring Author — Obsessed with Self-Growth

Curious

Curious

A community of people who are curious to find out what others have already figured out // Curious is a new personal growth publication by The Startup (https://medium.com/swlh).

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