Continuous learning is one of the keys to growth. Reading new books, watching educational videos, or going to inspirational seminars will give you the ability and motivation to push forward to reach your ambitions, no matter what they are. Getting new information and finding ways to learn new or better ways of doing things will be essential to achieve your goals and dreams.
Nowadays, it's easy to obtain all kinds of new information. In just a few seconds, you can find articles online, have a book delivered to your electronic device, or watch conferences on any topic you wish. It's great to have this type accessible to you, but there's a caveat. While useful, you need to be very careful not to let new information sway you in a different direction than you're taking at this moment.
It's not that the curators of the information you consume are purposely implementing a hidden agenda of sorts for their personal gains. But more often than not, there's a reason why all kinds of material are made available so readily. It can be something intentional such as selling you something. Most of the time, it's more unintentional by trying to persuade you in a different direction.
It doesn't matter what the reason is. The result will be the same: if you let someone persuade you, you will get thrown off your own path. Once you're off your road, you'll lose all the experience and momentum you've gained. It might even set you off in the opposite direction you want to go to or a dangerous course that will do more harm than good. To avoid this, you can't blindly accept everything you see, hear, or read. You need to filter everything that comes your way.
Two quick questions to avoid being thrown off track
How can you do this? The quickest method to sift through any new information you consume is by asking yourself two questions beforehand:
"What do I need now to continue moving toward my goals?"
If you're actively looking for new information, there's a good chance that you feel like you're missing something to continue moving forward. When you search for that missing piece, it's easy to find lots of different ways or opinions that instead of running ahead, will pull you in a completely different direction. By asking ahead of time what you need at this moment to continue moving on, your mind will be prepared to avoid taking in what you don't need now.
"What will I need out of this new information?"
While you most likely will not exactly know what you need to continue moving toward your goals, you understand what you need to accomplish to proceed. Focusing on what you need to get done will help you pick the essentials while avoiding everything else that will distract you.
Take only what you need, leave what you don't
If there are bits of information that aren't covered by either of the two questions above, you have two choices:
- You can choose to save that information if you think it's exciting and potentially useful, to deal with it another day. Make sure that you handle it quickly and separately from your current focus, to avoid being distracted and pulled off your path.
- You can entirely discard and forget about the information if it's not exciting nor you can see any use in it down the road. Doing this might be difficult for some, as the Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) can quickly kick in. However, if you can't find any use or interest in it now, you'll most likely never will. And in the off-chance you do need it in the future, you'll be able to find it again when needed.
Still being pulled away from your path? Maybe you need to clarify what your path is
Asking yourself the questions about what to do with new information that comes your way and pushing aside the rest might not be enough to keep you moving to where you want to go. If that's happening to you, the reason may very well be that you are not 100% certain where you want to go yet.
You might have an idea of where you want to head towards, but if your path isn't crystal-clear, you will end up going around in circles, being dragged away by everything that comes across you. That's because you won't have the needed clarity to answer the questions mentioned above. You must be specific on where you want to go and uncompromising in your beliefs. Once your path is not in doubt, nothing will take you off it.
You're bombarded by information all the time so be careful not to let anything influence you
Exposure to information these days is incredible, either voluntarily or involuntarily by news, family, friends, co-workers and especially social media (which you can tame with the help of the Practical Good Social Media Cleanup Course). You must take preventive steps to stop being influenced by others. Just a little bit of up-front work will pay off by keeping you unshakeable in your beliefs and bringing you right where you want to be.
Small steps for your Practical Good
If you feel like you're always pulled away from the places you want to go to, here are some tips you can begin to implement to stay on your path and go straight to your goals:
- Make sure you're firmly on the track you want to be in: Without clarity, you won't be able to find your way forward. By ensuring that the path you're in is the one that you'll be taking, you won't be taken off that path when someone or something tries to influence you otherwise.
- Ask yourself the following two questions the next time you consume new information: "What do I need now to continue moving toward my goals?" and "What will I need out of this new information?" These questions will filter out all the unnecessary noise and lead you to where you need to be.