i came across some information on a blog that pointed in particular to something that i suffer from. I think in some ways i am addicted to personal development. But not the real kind of personal development, the kind of personal development where you just read and read and read and gather more information. The article gave me some insights into why I do it.

With information overload I don’t just mean that you read a lot. I pretty much mean an overload in all input. If you just let all information flow into your mind it will be hard to think clearly. It’s just too much stimulation. A few more potential downsides to this habit are:

– Some of the input you receive will be negative. The media and your surroundings often put a negative spin on things for various reasons. If you aren´t selective in what input you want in your life then you’ll be dragged into this negativity too. This affects how you think, feel and act.

– It creates an urge to keep up with what’s happening but there are always ten more things happening so you can’t keep up. This makes life stressful.

– It becomes hard to make decisions and take action if your mind is constantly bombarded with information or trying to sort through it all. Personally I find that if I get too much information it leads to a sort of paralysis. Not much get’s done.

Bingo, on the not much gets done. I have come to realize that I am hooked on information. When I did the strengths test, it turned out that ‘INPUT’ was one of my strengths…in other words I am information gatherer. Read on as to what are the potential downsides to being that way.

An addictive escape from your reality
One way to get stuck in reading is when you feel it’s an escape from reality. You can read about time management, about exercise and healthy food, about fixing your personal economy. There are so much wonderful and positive information in the books. It’s different from your life right now.

Waiting until you know everything
You want to study so hard and much that you don’t have to make the mistakes out there in the world. Others read but when they tried they made mistakes. “I’ll learn all that they failed with before I leave my house”, you might say. And the days, week and months go by.

I often suffer from the feeling of wanting to know more and more of a subject before I can get started on it. Exhaustive research is another way of putting off the obvious and making your decision based on the facts that you know as of now. Sometimes I read so much that I even convince myself that there are so many pros and cons that not doing anything is probably the best alternative.

Reading and reading about a subject gives you the feeling that you are getting closer to your goal. But it’s a false, comforting feeling. Without action you will never get truly started on your path towards your goals and new possibilities. After that first period of reading, try to incorporate some of what you have learned into you behaviour. Go out into the world and try it. Find a balance between studying and taking action. Try, see what the results are, then learn from them and books and optimize. Rinse and repeat.

Now I really have to think about breaking this pattern. And that’s part of the reason for more information gathering because the tendency is there to think that the solution is just out there somewhere, that perfect solution that is tailormade for you. I think part of growing up is realizing there is’nt and to try to make the best of what you have.