Reading motivational material such as books, blogs, and even audiobooks/podcasts can have tremendously positive effects on your life. This material can inspire you to look at life in many new and useful ways, and push you to start new habits which have a huge impact on your productivity and happiness. However, like most other things that are in general good for you, if you partake in too much of this material, there are negative consequences.
I really enjoy reading motivational material, but I find that if I consume too much over a short period of time, I start to feel pulled in a lot of different directions. Upon reading a great new idea, I tell myself: I should be doing that! Why am I not doing that? Then I feel that because I have the emotional energy to do it then, I should start immediately (which is normally the best approach to take). But this sends me off on something new, without giving me enough time on the previous goal.
For example, a while back was inspired to establish a morning writing ritual, which I did for a few days. But then I read about how great it is to workout first thing in the morning. So after only a few days with my morning writing routine, I stopped doing it in order to have time for the morning workout. Now, both of these are great routines, and both have huge positive effects on my life, but I was trying to do too much at once. I didn’t give the writing habit enough time to solidify. If I had, it would have been much easier to maintain that habit as I took on a new habit like also exercising in the morning.
Eventually, I realized that I was trying to do too much. I scaled back on the motivational material I was reading, and I found that I was much easier to focus on the topics I was reading about. I also started reading blogs and books about simplicity and focus, which helped with this (in small doses of course). My favorite so far has been zenhabits.com, which has a very clean layout and the author has a nice, concise way of making his points.
So if you read a lot of motivational material (and there’s a good chance you do if you’re reading this article), consider reducing your intake. I think you’ll find that those ideas that remain are more powerful and effective in your life.