Why Everything You’ve Read About Success May Be Completely Worthless

If you want to learn about success, you won’t have a hard time finding information on the subject. In fact, there are thousands of books and blogs about achieving success. The problem is, they may all be worthless!

Why? Because the vast majority of people still struggle with achieving success. I hate to say it, but even this blog is worthless if it’s just more information that you never put to use. What good is reading a lot of books or blog articles, if the knowledge you gain lies dormant and becomes worthless?

To prove my point, consider the example of an overweight nutritionist. Does it make any sense that an expert in health would be severely overweight, or even morbidly obese? No, the overweight nutritionist knows exactly what she needs to do to lose weight. But expertise and knowledge aren’t enough.

By now, I’m sure you realize where I’m headed with this. Unlike the overweight nutritionist, you have to apply the knowledge. If you don’t apply what your reading, you’re wasting your time and you can stop reading this blog because it would be worthless to you as well.

So how does someone combat the “dormant knowledge” syndrome? Here are 4 reasons why everything you’ve read about success will be worthless, if you don’t apply the knowledge:

Reason #1. Living life on the default setting

There are people who live their entire lives on the default settings, never realizing they can change everything. Don’t be one of them. You can have whatever life you want, not just what you have right now. That’s all there is to it. Each of us has a unique fire in our heart to live life to its fullest. It’s your duty to find it and go after it.

What to do about it

Don’t hide behind other people’s decisions. Don’t let others tell you what you want. Design and experience your own life. The life you create from doing something that moves you is far better than the life you get from just sitting around wishing you were doing it. Decide today what your ideal life must be. Is it to have financial peace? If so, switch off the default button and get busy doing all the things you’ve read about to achieve financial freedom – budgeting, saving, and investing. The doing is what matters.

Reason #2. Living life on the safe setting

Never let your fear decide your future. To play it too safe is one of the riskiest choices you can make. You cannot grow unless you are willing to change and adapt. You will never improve yourself if you cling to what used to be simply because it’s comfortable.

What to do about it

Accept what is, let go of what was and have faith in what could be. The bold steps you take into the unknown won’t be easy, but every step is worth it. And even if you have to fail several times before you succeed, your worst attempt will always be 100% better than the person who settles and never tries at all. Take what you’ve read and get passionate about achieving success and let that passion power you thru when fear tries to keep you down.

Reason #3. Living life on the easy setting

Nothing worthwhile in life is easy. Many people expect things just to be given to them. I say, go out and earn the life you want. Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who go get it. Having natural talent for something is great, but I’ve seen more people succeed due to tremendous heart and determination, than any natural talent.

What to do about it

Don’t hope for it, work for it. If you believe in it with all your heart, then work for it with all your might. Great achievements must be earned. There is no elevator to success; you must take the stairs. So forget how you feel and remember what you demand of yourself. There’s no sense in waiting until you understand everything perfectly to get started. Now is always the best time to break out of your shell and show the world who you really are and what you’re really made of. Start right where you are, use what you have, and do what you’ve read about achieving success.

Reason #4. Living life on the blame setting

Many people want success and financial freedom, but they’ve also developed the habit of blaming their financial situation on other people or other things. They may even speak in a way that allows them to conveniently get out of the responsibility. “My employer just doesn’t pay me enough so that I can save any money.” As the great Jim Rohn said, “Your paycheck is not your employer’s responsibility, it’s your responsibility. Your employer has no control over your value, but you do.”

What To Do About It

Start by acknowledging that your financial condition is your responsibility. Next, use the power of language to change your mind set. Don’t cheat yourself by saying things like, “Life is unfair,” or “If only I had better luck.” Change that to “I’m responsible for where I am and where I’ll be in life.” Spend some time evaluating your past financial decisions. Write them down and compare them to what you’ve read about sound money management. Is there a difference? The results should either applaud you or prod you. If they don’t applaud you, come up with an action plan for making different money choices.

To solve any problem, there are three questions to ask yourself:

First, what could I read to solve this problem?

Second, who could I ask to help me solve this problem?

And third, who could I do to solve this problem?

The point is to do something. Don’t wait for inspiration or an approving pat on the back to get you started. As William James said, “Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action.”

Are you guilty of reading too much and taking too little action for success? Ask yourself this question – what piece of financial knowledge that you’ve read recently will you put into practice today? Open the door to that closet of knowledge, pick one thing that would help you achieve success, dust it off and get it done!

Be free. Nothing else is worth it.


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  • Gregory

    Great article. We sometimes yearn for greener pastures. That yearn for something better is a necessary part for one’s motivation. The desire to be better, do better, and have better. But, it does take us to get out of our comfort zones and act as you say.

    • https://www.montycampbell.com/ Monty Campbell

      That’s right Gregory. Thanks for commenting.

  • Jason

    Interesting article. Most of the list is imperative, however of course, when you have kids, the soccer games, guitar lessons, dinner time with them…those things become extremely important and it is hard to manage the time and take action. You’re right though, at the end of the day, we have to take action towards our goals.

    • https://www.montycampbell.com/ Monty Campbell

      Very true Jason. Reminds me of the quote, “Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.” If it’s important, a person will find a way to get it done.

  • Kim

    Monty, I am always inspired by your blogs. I am a new step-mother and have the privilege of being a step-mother (mom) to a five-year-old and an eight-year-old. I have to become more effective; hence, take more action. Thanks for the reminder that all the reading is useless if we don’t do something with it.

    • https://www.montycampbell.com/ Monty Campbell

      Thanks Kim. Sounds like you have a lot on your plate and making time to achieve your goals will be a challenging, but you can do it. Best wishes to you.

  • Mike

    This is the crux of it. We ARE the sum total of all the actions that we have taken or not taken up to this point PERIOD! If we are unhappy with any part of our lives, look at the choices we have made in that area. It is not always the same in all areas. Taking action sometimes is NOT EASY but must be done.

    • https://www.montycampbell.com/ Monty Campbell

      You said it Mike. At the end of the day, we are measured by what we’ve done. Thanks for sharing.

  • Cassandra Hein

    Three things I will commit to today are: 1. Not investing anymore energy in a situation beyond my control. 2. Reading daily. 3. Taking action! Thanks for reminding us to be “doers”, not just readers.

    • https://www.montycampbell.com/ Monty Campbell

      This is awesome Cassandra! Great commit list.

  • Sylvia Jacobs

    Great post Monty. You have a way as Warren Buffett your mentor does of keeping it simple and doable. I am taking action now. Thanks for your encouragement. This blog rocks!

    • https://www.montycampbell.com/ Monty Campbell

      That’s a very kind thing to say Sylvia. Thank you and best wishes on achieving your goals.