Do Motivational Books Really Motivate You?

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After contributing years into reading fiction and autobiographies, I finally thought of giving non-fiction a chance. Until last year, I have been dwelling in this misconception about non-fiction, that they are written by authors just to sell their opinionated values, trying to ‘influence’ people. In short, I thought they were scams. I am talking about those ‘How to get rich’ and ‘Finding true love 101’ books, no offense. I believe they are just another version of fairness cream adverts, that dig into our low self-esteem; pursuing us to buy their products. I picked up such a book, upon serious recommendations from three different friends within the same month. I was curious to know what it had in it. Now, I am not going to mention the name of the book, because I fear being judged by my taste in reading; just like our playlists.

Two pages into it, and I was surprised how connected I felt with the book itself. As if it was written just for me, based off my life events. This new experience surely put me ahead of my thoughts. I started taking recommendations for more non-fiction of such caliber. The more I read, the more I realized; If these books connect with me in a way, that they elaborate my fears and anxiety, and suggesting ways to improve them, how come everybody else connect with them the same way? I understand fiction because it is all relevant and its foreplay with emotions that are basic to any human minds. But this is different.

There’s only one way to explain this: We all have the same fears.

These books often reflected our fears and particularly rejection and failure. Every other fear is either a branch off of these two or includes one of them as a part. For example, the ‘stage fright’ or the fear of public speaking is sparked due to the thought of getting your tongue twisted, deviating from the topic, stuttering or worse, the audience laughing in your face (Unless you are a stand up comedian). Like I mentioned earlier, the stage fright dips the two of the major fears discussed above. The fear of rejection and failure.

The minute the writer started describing his first encounter of public speaking, I felt him. The moment he climbed onto the stage, adjusted the mic and took a glance at the sea of audience, his windpipes blocked the way for air, like someone just strangled him with a phone-code. He began to sweat and he could literally feel his body shaking out of nervousness, like walking out in the snow without jumpers on. This is the exact moment I fear the most.

Again, coming to think about it; during my early childhood, I was asked to sing nursery rhymes for my relatives that I learnt in my pre-schools, and I did not hesitate. We all have been there, right? Where was stage fright back then? What we don’t understand is that, we don’t inherit the fears; we develop them on the go.

As our fears grow, we are mentally cocooned down with our performances. Like fat in our body engulfing the muscles and leaving us all lazy. That is when we may start looking for dieticians and finally think of hitting the gym.
Incorporating the same mechanics into our minds, a motivational guide book is our ultimate hope. But does it hold the answers that we are seeking for?

The truth is, reading motivational books uplifts your morality and, pumps you up with energy. Like coffee. You might think caffeine is the solution for your Monday mornings, but unfortunately, they don’t last long. When the caffeine is drained and a week after your motivational book is over, you return to being the same person you were before you picked it up. It has happened to all of us.

I managed to slice down a few motivational books and what they had suggested for a prosperous life.

* – Do Not Give up or lose hope.
* – Do Not let your past oppress you.
* – There’s always a second chance or third.
* – Look at things with a positive mindset even at worse.
* – Make friends with positive people.
* – Write down your goals / fears.
* – Face your fears.
* – Work on them consistently.
* – Measure your progress.

When you read motivational books, real life incidents and testimonials from people that have achieved great in life, you automatically are tempted to know their secrets, at least secrets that you believe to exist. I am in no way against or in denial of the belief of motivational books and their success. In theory, motivation lies within you. What you require is the consistency. What I try to implement here is, that the idea behind motivational books is a failure according to their own content, only if the intention was to leave you motivated for the rest of your life. Now, can we really blame the author for our inconsistency?

There are no secrets in success. Rather, attitudes that will promise you a workaround. We look for a change in our lives as mentioned in the books within 21 days from reading it which is highly impossible to achieve. The 21 days mentioned is that almost all the motivational books hold a secret. Psychology says, it takes 21 days to inhabit an attitude. Meaning to say, doing an action consistently for 21 days will make it a habit.

Getting back to our fears; the only way to elude them is to face them. It is also purely coincidental that the author of the motivational book faced their fear and got it to work the very first time. Although it is crucial to face it. Even if you mess it up, you will have the courage to do it again, the next time. Sometimes we have to get used to the embarrassments just to prove them wrong. Well, you don’t want to take that regret into your grave, do you? At lease I tried.

The intention behind this article, is not to refrain you from reading motivational books. But to enforce you not to read a motivational book like a novel. Instead, implement the attitudes suggested in the books, and be consistent with them, for at least 21 days. If you fail to do it on the first day, even if it is the 20th day; start over. Only then you will find the motivation you require, from deep within.

And always remember, reading brings fitness to your mind.

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