I wouldnâ€™t be surprised if statistics showed that a very, very small percentage of people go on to apply advice theyâ€™ve read in books. This proves to be one of the primary issues that becomes frustrating for both the writer and the reader.
On the one hand, the writer is sure that his/her advice will work because he/she has applied it before and has gotten successful results from it. The writer really wants the reader to benefit from the advice.
On the other hand, the reader reads the advice and marvels at it, then shuts the book and goes on his/her merry way, never benefiting from it in the first place.
If you look closely at the reasons why people read but never apply, you can see that the reasons lie on two sides – from the writerâ€™s side and from the readerâ€™s side. Both bear some form of responsibility.
On the writerâ€™s side, you have these three common mistakes that are made.
1. Too many ideas.
2. Not enough passion.
3. Not enough logic.
Too many ideas.
The first mistake is a double edged sword in that writers have a ton of great ideas that they want to share, so they dump it all out, thinking that they’re doing their readers a favor by giving them all these ideas. On the contrary, readers will see all these ideas and become suffocated by them to the point where they close the book as itâ€™s becomes too â€śdenseâ€ť. The whole point of writing is to communicate and if the writer canâ€™t trim down what heâ€™s trying to say in a couple of ideas, then thereâ€™s no way that the reader will comprehend them, let alone apply them.
Not enough passion.
Another big thing in writing is passion. We all know the difference between the exact same speech given by two people, with one being more passionate than the other. Thereâ€™s no comparison. Similarly, thereâ€™s nothing that will turn off a reader more than â€śdryâ€ť writing (writing and speaking are more similar in nature than most people realize). Passion must be infused into writing and that responsibility lies solely with the writer.
Not enough logic.
Whatever the writer is writing in terms of advice, it must make sense. The word â€śwhyâ€ť is a writerâ€™s best friend. Why is one of the most important words in writing because it effectively sells the reader. Do ___________ because_____________________. And in the â€śbecauseâ€ť part, the reason(s) must be clearly explained.
A lot of writers give cop out reasons or very briefly go over simple logic and thatâ€™s a BIG mistake. Logic must never be skimped on or glossed over, but instead, be thoroughly presented, to the point where itâ€™s more than sufficient enough to get the point across and to get the reader to understand the added value of applying the advice being given.
Once these three mistakes have been corrected, it â€śprimesâ€ť the reader to get them ready to apply the information theyâ€™ve read.
For example, when I wrote How to Find What You Love to Do, I wanted to incorporate all these factors, but by far the most important fact was stressing that the writing exercise MUST be done. I had to think of various ways to convince readers to do it because I knew the efficacy of the article would hinge on selling the power of the writing exercise. Thatâ€™s why I stressed writing so much in that article and provided so many examples regarding why it should be done and judging from the success stories that have come from readers applying the advice from that one single article, I can tell that it has paid off.
Now if the writer has fulfilled all these objectives, the responsibility then falls solely on the reader.
On the readerâ€™s side, you can basically boil their mistakes down to two things.
1. Lack of desire.
2. Lack of foresight.
Lack of desire.
Lack of desire is probably the biggest mistake that readers have. They just donâ€™t want it bad enough and thatâ€™s the worst state of mind to be in. You would think that there was some desire that prompted the reader to seek out information in the first place, and there is that desire, but that desire is not strong enough to provoke them to action.
Desire is one of those things that can only be authentically created from within each person and one of the easiest ways to increase your desire is to ask yourself why. Why are you looking for this information in the first place? How will it help you? Visualize the benefits of applying the information. Do this to get your engine back up and running.
Lack of foresight.
Lack of foresight is another big mistake that readers make and what I mean by that is not being able to project into the future, the benefits of applying advice that you’ve read. When you apply the advice you read, the benefits you get from doing that start branching out from that one application – in ways you can never imagine. Itâ€™s never a â€śfiniteâ€ť amount of â€śbenefitsâ€ť you get from applying advice.
Once you start applying advice youâ€™ve read, you get results and these results in turn, fuel your desire and increases your understanding of the domino effect of benefits that subsequently happen as a result. So you read more and apply more and the cycle starts engaging automatically in your favor.
Hereâ€™s a very simple example to illustrate the power of foresight. You read some great advice on creating a spectacular cover letter and resume. You read some great advice on how to handle yourself in a job interview. You apply the advice on your job hunt, and thus get your dream job. This opens up several other opportunities which in turn, makes it possible for you to live the life youâ€™ve always dreamed of. All because you applied the advice youâ€™ve read at that moment in time.
Yes, itâ€™s a sappy example, but you will always find these types of examples in everyday life. Everybody in the world has their own version of this type of story where they applied some advice theyâ€™ve read or heard and one thing led to another and another and another and here they are today and if it wasnâ€™t for that application of advice at that moment in time, they would not be where they are today.
So the next time you find yourself reading and not applying, look to see where the mistakes are. Are you reading writing that has way too many ideas, not enough passion, and not enough logic? If so, look for other material to read.
If the writer is doing their job, then the fault must be with the reader. Up to a certain point, the responsibility falls on the writer but after that, there’s absolutely nobody else to blame but the reader.