Every personal development junkie reaches a saturation point when every Medium article they read starts to sound the same.
I was fatigued with all the self improvement stuff I was reading.
But recently, something magical happened.
The very bloggers and writers I have been avoided incessantly when I see their article in my feed – I started to become fans of them.
I used to discount every article based on the headline they used.
I scoffed and said “Here we go again, another self help post that will teach me the habits and routines of successful people so I can be successful.”
But now, I read their articles all the way through.
What made the difference?
1. I stopped skimming
Being the impatient person I am, I always scroll fast past most of the post and look for subheaders that answer the headline.
If none of the subheaders stop me in my tracks, I considered the article redundant and struck it off my list.
I now realize the arrogance and stupidity of this practice.
It only gives me a glimpse of the author’s subheader-writing-powers and not much else.
Here’s something you can do instead:
Read the post you want to read most from that particular writer on Medium.
Read it slow. I mean – Read. It. Slow.
Word. For. Word.
Give him or her a chance.
After that, decide if you want to follow them (or unfollow them if this is the “way-too-many”th time you were disappointed with the writing).
On a long enough time scale, you will have curated a small list of writers you enjoy reading from and get maximum ROI each time you read.
2. I stopped speed reading
Similar to the tune of skimming – if the article passed the subheader-skim test, I would start speed reading the article to get the most out of my time.
This would cause me to skip quotes I find too “indigestible” and thick paragraphs I find too daunting.
This was also a mistake because its often in these “difficult-to-speed-read” sections that have the most gems.
3. I started slow reading
After noticing my hatred for self help articles pile up like Floyd Mayweather’s stacks, I finally switched gears and took it slow.
I tried reading these articles word for word.
And like a Robert Frost taking a literal road not taken –
“And that made all the difference.”
I started enjoying the act of learning by reading again. And trust me when I say, if you’re a reader, nothing beats taking your time to read something, anything, as if you have nothing to do and nowhere to go.
Isn’t it pointless (to read beyond your saturation point) ?
I guess you can say that, but hey, I haven’t enjoyed reading self improvement since a year ago. Now I do.
And I can almost say that I’m excited to know, that the best material I’ve read so far are online on blogs and Medium and not in books. Now that’s exciting.