3 Reasons Why I Avoid Reading Blogs With Lists I opened up my email and saw a blog post titled “3 Steps to the Life You Want!”
Oh, cool. I’ve been feeling kind of lost lately. I want to have the life I want. And there’s only 3 things I have to do? Awesome. I clicked on the link to open up this simple, easy, can-do plan. I couldn’t wait. I was ready for a life change.
What I read really ticked me off. Write out a plan, Read the Plan, Take action. Anther blog with a similar promise said: take up running, write a blog, stop procrastinating.
Seriously? These ideas are either so banal that they offer no substance or they are so lofty that we are doomed to fail before we begin.
So, to save you the same frustration, let me tell you the 3 reasons why you should avoid these kinds of posts:
- You are not a moron. How many times have we opened up these emails just to read obviously inane tips? Sure, we may be floundering, lost even, but we’re not stupid. Just because we’re lost doesn’t mean we need to have the most basic ideas flung in our face. Instead, I offer you this: Stay lost. When I spent a college quarter studying in London, I purposefully got off the Tube at a random stop. After the Tube doors hissed shut, I started walking. I relished not knowing where I was. Sure, there was a map in my backpack that would eventually lead me back home, but I allowed myself time to stay lost. I discovered new things when I was lost that I never would have found had I stayed on the Tube to the same stop every day.
- Life isn’t a quick sound bite. The news tries to make it so, Facebook and Twitter try to make it so, and you know, you just know that when you’re up against some serious stuff in life, even your friends want to make it so. "It'll be okay," they say. We are a culture that is uncomfortable with the deeper feelings, the real feelings. We’d much rather give three reasons to make it all go away, to put the glossy veneer of happiness on the situation.
- Life is richer, deeper and more fulfilling when we look inside for the answer. I know it’s tempting to look outside, but how many times have you said to yourself, “I had a feeling,” or “My gut told me,” or “I knew I shoulda . . .” We are not taught how to look inside for answers; we are taught to rely on influences outside of ourselves. You feel lost? The compass is your heart. You feel tired? Your soul is a pair of wings. Nothing’s really going to change just by reading someone’s list of shoulds. That’s a great list for the author. Go write your own list. And then live by that list. Living an authentic, satisfying, energetic, loving and happy life takes attention and intention. It takes getting lost and finding your way again.
Next time you see a Facebook link or a blog post in your email box promising you a quick, easy fix, think about whether you want to spend your time on that. Instead, ask yourself what you need in that moment. The answers are there.