The most frustrating thing about having an idea, toiling over the words, getting a book deal, seeing your cover in stores, and meeting your readers is the simple fact that words are not enough.
Imagine, if you will, your bookshelf. If you’re anything like me, it’s loaded with self-help books. From Spirit Junkie to The Success Principles, How To Make Friends And Influence People to The Fire Starter Sessions, you and I have got a book for almost every situation or problem. The covers sing out with hope, and the blurbs on the back make us think that if we simply take this book home, our lives will be transformed. We will cease to be the flawed human that stands in the self-help aisle, contemplating our problems.
But the real test of whether a book is a success has nothing to do with hitting the New York Times bestseller list, or whether you lend it to all your best friends, or whether it’s featured on the big table at Barnes & Noble. The true indicator of a book’s success is whether the reader implements what she has learned. Books only have value when we take the information inside and apply it to our lives; when we use the words as fuel and begin to make transformational change.
Don’t get me wrong: I am thrilled out of my skin when I see photos of my book in people’s lives. After years of sharing online, having a tangible offering that can be held with two hands is unbelievably exciting. But what really fills me with joy is when a woman writes to me and says that using the principles of radical self love has revolutionised her life.
In August, I received this short — but very sweet — email from a woman named Kathy.
“Hi Gala, I’m a retired nurse at 63. I’ve spent my life looking after others. My daughter gave me your beautifully written book of wise words. Thank you so much. I’m enjoying the process of self discovery and learning to love myself.”
Kathy is taking my words and using them! It’s great to be inspired and read something that lifts your spirits temporarily, but if that’s all you’re getting out of a book, it’s about as real as a hit of sugar. On the other hand, taking an idea and putting it into action is truly nourishing, and even better, it actually gives us the results we have been hoping for!
My challenge to you today is not to simply scan for information, or highlight inspiring passages, or make notes on the things you discover. I want you to APPLY THE INFORMATION. Take an idea — it doesn’t matter whether it’s from my book or from something you read online — and move it into real life. Turn it from a thought into an action.
I have spent most of my life mulling over concepts, thinking, ‘What a good idea!’ But the only time those ideas ever make any difference in my life is when I test them in the field. Information means nothing at all unless you apply it.
If we want to become the highest expression of ourselves, we have to change our ACTIONS, not just our thoughts.
And in case you ever had any doubt? You got this.
P.S. If you’re eager to move your radical self love practice from abstract concepts to real change triggered by action, join me for Radical Self-Love: The Online Course. Starting on September 14th, I’ll be teaching brand new ways that you can really and truly change your life by changing your behaviour. You can get a little taste of what it will be like by joining me as I broadcast live on Facebook tomorrow at 5pm EST! xo
Photo by Made U Look.