Why You Need To Stop Reading Articles That Promise Too Much

Too Much Promise

I am not sure if you have noticed but they are everywhere. Articles and blog posts promising the way to finally reach what you have always wanted if you just follow, “10 ways to…” or do “5 Steps to..” or maybe even get, “25 Things to…”

It grabs my attention as I am sure it does yours. Believe me, they know that (look at my title). It is common knowledge for bloggers and writers in a Facebook newsfeed and quick satisfaction-driven world that we all want answers and we want them fast.

5 Ways To…

Maybe you are like me and you have done something similar to this. With articles like these, I will almost habitually scroll down to see the headers in the paragraphs or even just skip to the “5 steps” to see if I want to read further.

I think in some regard that might be ‘smart’ reading but in reality, it’s really just lazy reading. I want to see the steps quick, apply them now, see the results immediately, watch a movie from Netflix and be in bed by 9pm. I don’t really care who wrote it or the research that went into it. They just need to seem plausible enough to work and easy enough to do.

Stop Here

Did you skip everything and stop here because of the headline? Well, here is the gist –  the 1 reason why you need to stop reading articles these types of articles is…

It doesn’t work.

Some of these steps/thoughts/practices etc… are helpful and even useful sometimes – I can admit that. They can provide, for the self-disciplined, some temporary changes in their lives but if I really think through though all the articles I have read I can see a consistent pattern. I have either never followed through with the steps, picked the ones I liked out of the list or completely forgot all them.

It’s because they don’t work…ultimately. Seriously, I know they don’t work. How can I be so confident? Who am I to make such a sweeping statement?

Steps Are Not Answers

Steps only serve to move toward something – but to what? If we are honest we read those articles and the writers write them because we all want one thing – we want the answer. Whatever the burning question, the bad habit you want to kick or the new routine you want to start, we want to know the ‘answer’ to it now. Your life is not a question 10 steps were ever able to fix.

If I want to get out of debt and I read an article promising 10 ways to do so, who’s to say I won’t be in the same place in a year? If I want to lose 10 pounds in 1 month and I read an article about 20 steps to do so, who’s to say in 3 months I won’t be back to my original weight or worse? Insert your thing/question/habit. It’s all the same.

Real Answers

What we need is the real answer. We have become allergic to the long suffering of finding the real answer. In some ways, we have run headlong into the welcoming and comfortable arms of ease and left ourselves behind.

Why are you in debt in the first place? Why is that amount of money the right amount? Who do you want to lose weight for? Steps can’t answer that, in fact, they bypass it. They lie to you and say, “Oh forget looking inward and look at these new 8 steps to get the body of your dreams!”

Maybe our answers are not found but discovered in the long and grueling process of asking yourself, ‘Why?’. If we know our answer then we can start to build the steps and not a stairway to nowhere. Maybe when we find out the real answer 5 steps just won’t cut it anymore. And we will be better of because of it.

Greg Smith

Blogging about faith, life, church, and everything in between.

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