It’s common, reading too many business, marketing, management, productivity, self help or personal development books can fuck you up. These are the books that the aspiring managers, entrepreneurs, marketers and others read.
Now, I’m not against reading those books. Not reading at all and not willing to learn is just ignorant. There is absolutely no need to reinvent the wheel every time and that’s what those who don’t seek any information rely on.
Also, I don’t say that the books in the mentioned categories are bad. (Of course, there are bad books as well, those clearly do not help and this article is not about them.)
There are tons of good and there are even some great ones.
And that’s actually the problem, there are tons.
So here is how reading too many books fucks you up…
It happens in 3 ways.
1. It makes a chaos in your head.
It’s too much info. You get information overload. You get confused. You can’t distinguish the good from the bad and you can’t judge whats the important stuff. You forget a lot. You wonder how to use all that shit when you only need a portion.
2. You get conflicting information.
Because it becomes hard to judge you basically start wondering “is it this way or that way”. Too often a new book can put you off a promising track that you are on. It can interrupt your focus and raise conflicting values in your head.
3. Intellectual masturbation.
Because it’s a good info, you like it more and more. You feel that you are doing something very intelligent and that you are progressing but after a certain point it does the opposite. It becomes like a drug, you need it. You feel insecure if you haven’t read in detail about anything that comes up, you think that you need to read a book about everything. It prevents you from taking action.
It actually slows you down and in reality you procrastinate more.
And that’s why reading many business books (or similar) is often counterproductive.
Is there some rule to follow?
Most successful people I know and I have read/heard about have read about 10-20 books and they usually have 2-3 that have been the most influential to them.
Sure, there are those who have read over 100 or those who have read less than 5 that have still succeeded big time, but they are more rare.
PS. Same thing applies to courses, training programs, seminars, etc.