I had this idea that I should start this blog on confidence with some sort of bold proclamation about what the blog stands for and what you’ll get out of it. In a few words or so I’m supposed to introduce you to my method and convince you that I’m going to help change your life. I’m supposed to show you where to find the free download, the audio file, the pdf, or show you the list of bullet points that will somehow make everything better. Sure, there will eventually be enough of those items here, but please understand that I realize (and I expect my readers to realize) that the bullet list, the programs and the members-only content usually don’t work at first. They are cosmetic fixes at best. They don’t stick. I should know because I’ve tried a lot of them.
If there is any innovation to be found in the expert industry it is unlikely to be found in generating new content — it will be found in how to apply the mountain of good content that already exists. I think most expert advice falls short not due to some fault of the author or of the material. I think the failure occurs in us as readers. We need to realize that the 10 point check list, the recommended daily habits or the entire program in question are often a personal extension of the author. These steps work well for the person writing the book. If we interpret his or her advice too literally we get disappointed when the author’s daily habits don’t work for us. We lose interest when we try the checklist and see little results.
As readers we need to take the next crucial, and often unstated, step. We must fit the material into our world. The beauty is that we get to customize it. If getting out of bed at 5 AM to exercise doesn’t fit your schedule, then take the essence — getting more exercise — and see where you can make it fit. Very few of us are going to take any expert’s program and implement it word for word with any rate of success.
Sheesh! Even as I re-read the last paragraph I realize that I’ve made the whole process sounds too quaint, too trivial. Internalizing someone’s content can take months or years, but we’re not supposed to tell you that in the expert industry. Why? Because you won’t buy our books if we tell you that any success is going to take such a long time. We’re supposed to tell you that we can fix your career, your love life, your unresolved issues with your co-workers, your relationship with your father and your complete financial picture in 13 easy chapters. If we told you that this stuff actually takes time, most of you wouldn’t have the patience for it.
Expert material not only takes time (duration), it takes timing. I can think of several books that I have read that had amazing content, but I was not in a place in my life where I could implement them. I have a copy of Scott Belsky’s Making Ideas Happen lying on the table as I write this post. The book is a brilliant treatise on how to get things out of your head and into reality. I bought the book over a year ago and quickly lost interest in it. Actually I had to stop reading it because I kept getting angry. I could see that the content was good. Really good. The problem is that I was not at a point in my work where I could take full advantage of what I was learning. Nearly 12 months later I am in a different part of the product development cycle, and I can begin applying the principles in a manner that fits my world. Bliss. It was all a matter of timing.
So take some time to dive through this site. Get as much from it as you can. Then go visit other sites, read other books and listen to other audio. Let the advice pour in. Some of it will be useful right way. Other tips will need some time to perk, to brew and steep. When the time is right, your brain will recall just the right piece of advice when you need it.