We Master Life By Practicing It, Not By Reading It

I love books, don’t get me wrong. I used to read 1 book a day when I had time for it and I’m capable to leave a super-duper shopping mall of fancy clothes, shoes and bags with only books in my bag.

But I wanted to address something that came to my attention in 2015 when I started to coach people, back in London.

Here are my thoughts.

Amy Morin, in her book “13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do” writes the following:

“You’ll never become an expert at anything by simply reading a book. Athletes don’t become elite competitors after reading about their sport nor do top musicians increase their musical abilities by simply watching other performers play. They also have to practice.”

This is so relevant for everyone in the personal development industry. Psychotherapists, Psychologists, Coaches, Spiritual guides or Buddhist teachers… We repeat this endlessly to our clients and students.

I remember my own shrink in London, whom I visited regularly over a course of years when I went through hard times of grief and depression. He once turned to me after I’ve been harsh on myself for still coming to therapy and said:

“You’re one of the rare patients who actually applies what we do here. And you’ll be out in no time!”

It was an eye-opener for me and for my understanding of people that I set to teach.

Most people sit in therapy for years. The reason why the therapy goes on is because there is no action after the session.

We Master Life By Practicing It, Not By Reading It

But that’s really where the magic happens.

The same is happening with reading books, thinking they’ll help us.

We think we can read a book that inspires us and by magic, our life will change. Well, it won’t. Until you go out there and try it out.

Reading blog posts of inspirational people, daily quotes on social media won’t really do any much for you, either. Unless you do something about them. Apply them to your life. And that’s where guidance kicks in after a while. That’s why the coaching industry and Buddhist lamas are getting busier than ever in the last decade or so.

Once you actually want to do something about it, you will have questions and no one around you to ask.

There are few steps between reading a book and changing your life. Here are some, I’m aware of:

1. You read the book.

2. You listen to your heart & Allow it to move you. That’s your intuition waking up.

3. You then set a conscious intention of “what next”? You know, what to do with this burning, new desire that just woke up?

4. You take the first courageous action & address what isn’t working for you and which part of the book you can try and test out.

5. Once you try and test it in your real life, you become aware of other things, the bigger picture.Most probably you’ll want a reaching hand to guide you.

6. Your hunger to understand it more and on a deeper level grows. You want a teacher. A trainer that will set you for your life marathon. He/she supports you in changing habits of thoughts and behaviour.

7. You then start a conscious practice. Like a pro. A life pro, that is.

8. And only then you start enjoying your ride solo (or stay with a guide if you’re growing more), your dreams and potential, your confidence and self-acceptance grow because you know you’re actually doing something about it. You’re done with “convincing yourself” that a book will do. We all know they don’t. Books are just an escape until brought to our own reality.


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