Do you regularly feel overwhelmed and restless? Do those feelings arise without a clear reason?
It happens to all of us. During those moments, we feel bad. We make the wrong decisions. And we give in to our desires. All of us experience moments of weakness. Especially when we’re alone, not knowing what to do.
In those moments, we whip out our phones and consume some crap on the news or social media. And that makes things worse.
And all of a sudden, you start to question everything about life. Your mind is out of control. And you can’t think straight anymore. It’s a harmful state of mind.
But we’ve all experienced the opposite as well: Being in the zone—fully focused on a single task.
So why do we still experience those moments of overwhelm? It has something to do with someone who’s living in your head.
How many books does a person read in a lifetime? I did the arithmetic one night over beers with a friend.
First, we established that averages are useless. Some statistics say that people read 12 books per year on average. There are always a few people who read more than 100 books a year. So that number is inflated.
Based on our experiences, most people we know only read a book that’s popular. For example, this year’s book was 12 Rules For Life by Jordan Peterson. Most people read books because “everybody has read this book!”
And then they might pick up one or two other books in a year. They probably won’t even finish them. But let’s be optimistic about people and assume most folks read 5 books a year. Over a 50-year career, that’s only 250 books.
About four years ago I decided to read 100 new books a year. I’ve kept up that habit until recently.
I stopped reading two new books a week because I forgot almost everything I learned more than a year earlier. And there’s no way you can remember even a quarter of a book you read three years ago.
I made this discovery this year when I started worrying about random things in my life. I thought, “Didn’t I deal with this issue years ago?”
And I was right, I’ve read a lot about worrying, I’ve coached people, and I even wrote a book about it. But I’m not a machine—I’m not immune to the challenges that we all face. No one is.