We live in a world where information is readily available with just a click or a swipe. Much of that information is designed to help you improve your life, yet it often falls short of meeting that goal.
You stumble across some well-intentioned advice that sounds great in theory, but it fails to yield the desired results you expect. What’s the problem?
Here are five reasons why all those great-sounding online tips don’t produce the results in your life that you’re looking for, along with ways you can make those tips work for you.
1. The information oversimplifies the process required to get results.
Presenting complex information in a clear, concise, and accessible way is challenging. It often leads to an oversimplification of the ideas being covered.
If you’re already familiar with the subject matter at hand, you’ll probably be able to detect that oversimplification right away. If you’re not familiar with the subject matter, you might not realize where key points are being glossed over.
Solution: especially when you’re delving into an entirely new area, be prepared to follow-up to get more information. Understand that terms like “quick” and “easy” are relative. Time, effort, focus, and commitment are required to achieve anything worthwhile.
2. The information offers a high-level overview; key details are missing.
This is closely related to point #1 above. There’s only so much that an online article, blog post, or tip sheet can cover. The information provided may be helpful and accurate. However, it likely won't be as thorough and as comprehensive as a 200-page book would be. There's a good chance high-level steps will be identified, while key details are left out.
Solution: use the content you find as a starting point, but recognize when you need to delve into things more deeply to get a better understanding. That might mean taking a few courses or purchasing a few books.
3. The information needs to be applied over time to be effective.
What do losing weight, getting out of debt, and learning to play piano all have in common? They all require time. There are plenty of steps you can take to help you achieve each of these goals, but you’re not going to see success overnight.
Solution: when you find tips or a plan that looks like it has potential, allow adequate time to see the positive effects. Your time and commitment will pay off over the long term.
4. The information isn’t a good fit for you personally.
Improv classes are a great way to boost confidence and creativity, for some people. Curling up with a book is a great way to relax, for some people. Bungee jumping is a great way to break out of a rut, for some people. Knitting is a great way to de-stress, for some people. You get the idea. We’re all different; what’s great for one person isn’t necessarily great for someone else.
That’s why it’s so important to find what works for you. That means finding approaches that are a good fit for you personally.
Solution: self-awareness is one of your greatest assets when filtering information online. Stay attuned to what makes sense to you, what resonates with you, what excites you, and what inspires you. Distinguish between guidance that feels challenging because it’s pushing you to grow vs. guidance that just isn’t a good fit for who you are and how you operate.
5. The information is solid, but you need support to fully implement it.
There’s a lot you can do on your own. There’s a lot more you can do with the right support. When you’re wading into new territory, there's a lot to learn. You need to build new skills. You also face the dilemma of not knowing what you don’t know.
Solution: if there’s an area in your life where you truly want to make changes and get ahead, make it a priority and get the support you need. Whether it’s a trainer, mentor, coach, instructor, or community of likeminded individuals, the right support can help you make significant progress far more quickly and effectively. The right support can also help you avoid common pitfalls you wouldn’t otherwise be alert to.
Image credit: Darwesh Murad from Pixabay
Tips for achieving optimal wellness, inside and out.