Are you carrying around a lot more information than you’re actually applying to your life? There’s never been more information available. The internet is an endless supply of information. You can learn about anything you like and become a true expert without ever leaving your home.
But, is that the best use of your time? Is the information you’re gathering useful to your life? Are you applying what you’re learning?
For our purposes, we’re defining mental obesity as the desire to acquire and the acquiring of more information than necessary to optimize your life.
We’ve become overburdened with information and lack the self-management skills to effectively apply that newfound knowledge.
Many of the challenges of life are simple to solve. For example, if you’re overweight, you’re eating more calories than your body requires. The solution is to eat less. It’s that simple, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. You don’t need to learn another diet on top of the 20 you already know.
You also don’t need to learn another exercise routine. If you would simply apply what you know, you’d lose weight and could move on to something else.
Learning is also challenging for your brain. It takes a lot of mental resources. Unless you’re learning something that’s useful to your life, it might be better to apply those resources, and your time, to something more relevant to your life.
Decide if you have the following signs of mental obesity:
1. Do you like to learn, but don’t like to take action? Are your curious about ancient Egypt? Or maybe you’re fascinated by how a spaceship can make it to Mars and back. Have you learned everything there is to know about being successful but don’t do anything to be more successful?
• This is a strong sign that you’re suffering from mental obesity.
2. Are you great at planning, but fail to follow through? Those that suffer from mental obesity are great planners. In fact, they love it. They have detailed plans for losing weight, making a million dollars, or living the most exciting year that anyone has ever experienced. However, they never follow through on their plans.
3. Do you believe the answer to your challenges is to learn more? Mental obesity sufferers are burdened with the never-ending belief that they just need to learn one more thing, and then their problems will be solvable. Unfortunately, there’s always another thing to learn.
4. Are you the smartest or most knowledgeable person you know, but your life is a mess? Is everyone stunned by your knowledge but confused by your lack of success? Are you considered to be an underachiever? Are you annoyed because many of the most successful people you know don’t know much?
Mental obesity is a trap that has its roots in the educational system. In school, if you were intelligent and knowledgeable, you were successful. It’s natural to assume that recipe for success would apply to adulthood, but it doesn’t.
Consider that most of the challenges in your life are easily solved, or easily avoidable by a few simple actions. Saving money, being healthy, becoming fit, losing weight, earning more money, having stronger relationships, keeping your house clean, and so on are simple to accomplish. The steps to make them happen just aren’t enjoyable.
Before learning something new, master yourself. Learn how to control yourself and get practice actually doing it. When you can consistently apply what you already know, then it’s time to learn more. You already know enough to be incredibly successful.