There’s No Magic System to Fix Your Life

How often have you bought yet another book or audio program or product that promises to revolutionize your life?

How often have you taken a seminar or class or course that sounds like the solution to all your problems?

How often has it worked?

We’d all like a magic-bullet solution to our problems. Whether you’re trying to lose weight, make more money, or finally get organized, there’s no shame in wishing it was easy.

Sadly, it usually isn’t. (It might well be simple – which I’ll come to later in this post – but that’s not the same as easy.)

Here’s why there’s no magic system:

Marketers Don’t Have Your Best Interests at Heart

The people who create ads are in the business of selling. The vast majority of the time, they care about their profit margin, not about your best interests.

That means that a lot of books, products, and courses get over-hyped. Whether it’s a best-selling self-help book or a line of diet pills, it’s almost certainly being made to sound far more effective than it really is.

Marketers use all sorts of tricks to convince you that, this time, the “miracle solution” really is just that. They might have testimonials from satisfied customers … but you don’t know how many people weren’t satisfied, or even if these testimonials are fake. They may show misleading photos: the “before” and “after” photos for weight loss products are a classic example. In some cases, they may tell outright lies.

In almost every case, you need to remember that…

Real Change Takes Work

You won’t become thin, rich, and organized overnight. If you want to make serious progress in your life, it’s going to take real work.

I know this might sound obvious, but you can’t simply read a book or take a class and miraculously experience the benefits: you have to actually put the advice into action. If you’re like most people, you’ll find yourself reading book after book or taking class after class without really doinganything.

(And it’s not your fault. If you were being sold on some quick-fix solution only to find it’s going to require a ton of work, you’re hardly to be blamed for finding it a tough proposition.)

If you genuinely want to change your life, you have to be willing to work for it.

The good news is that…

Simple Solutions Are Often the Best

Sometimes, you’ll be convinced that your real problem is that you’ve just not found the right solution yet.

You’ll often see this tendency manipulated by the dieting industry: clearly, you’re not losing weight because you’re not eating the right foods for your blood type, or you’re combining the wrong foods, or you’re eating carbs after 5pm…

Unfortunately, the real reason you’re not losing weight is almost certainly because you’re eating too much and exercising too little. Sure, a radical new diet plan might help, but only because it restricts the number of calories you’re eating.

The same applies to almost any area of your life. Need to get out of debt? Start spending less. Need to be more organized? Write a to-do list. Need to declutter your house? Just get on with it.

Of course, there are plenty of great books, useful products and insightful courses that can help you towards your goals. The trick, though, is to look for those that don’t promise to be a magic solution. Trust the authors and sales people who let you know, upfront, that you’re going to need to do some work: they’ll be able to show you how and help you along the path.

Before you buy more books or courses or exercise equipment, try using the ones you’ve already got. Even if they’re not 100% perfect for your situation, use what you can. You’ll make much faster progress than if you forked out for something new – and you’ll have more money in your pocket.

Photo by kelsey_lovefusionphoto

16 thoughts on “There’s No Magic System to Fix Your Life”

  1. Hi Ali,

    You’re perfectly right. If we want to bring about real and lasting change in our lives, it takes a lot of effort. This is because we need to overcome the inertia that comes with our habits before we can implement the changes we want. And then, it is a matter of making sure they stick so that we do not go back to our old ways. All this takes time and persistent effort.

    I agree that simple solutions are the best. This is simply because it is easier to adhere to simple solutions than to follow something that is too complex. In the end, we have to be discerning about the advice we listen to and follow.

    Thank you for sharing this lovely article!

    Irving the Vizier

  2. How many millions / billions are spent every year as people search in vain for the ‘magic bullet’?

    As posted, real change takes work. And unfortunately for most, it also takes time. Even after ‘the change’ has occurred it still takes effort to not slip in to past practices.

    Great post and it would be nice to see this information get shared with the masses. Then again, perhaps it already has been shared, and ignored, since most seem to wish for the quick fix (or lottery win) knowing that the odds are stacked totally against them.

    jb

  3. Thank you for the post!!!You are so absolutely right.We are the only person in our own lives who can bring change by actions & not just by speaking that we want change.Long lasting change always take time & as you said, you have to keep working on that.If we again go into old practices,then we will end up again from where we started.Also as you said simple actions are the best,you don’t have to do any extra ordinary things for that.

  4. Ali — good tips. Especially like the focus on keeping things simple. I’ve come to believe that our bodies and brains are simply not programmed for quick fixes. Our behaviors are the result of entrenched habits, and it just takes time and steady focus to reverse negative habits and replace them with something better. And the overall effort required to do that ensures the changes will actually stick. It’s a very virtuous cycle if we can get it working for us.

    1. Michael,
      If it’s negative chatter, change it to positive chatter. Never forget, you cannot think positive and negative thoughts at the same time so as soon as you are aware of a negative thought, change it to a positive one.

      Philip

      1. Michael, I find it helps to take a few moments to just breathe. And I sometimes write down whatever’s on my mind — getting it out of my head and onto paper can help.

      2. I find that one of the surest ways to stop the negative and judgmental thoughts from being played over and over in your mind is to notice them carefully. Examine those stuck thoughts and ask yourself what good or what purpose they serve then, consciously send them away into nothingness. at first, you may not be able to do this mentality; if that is the case, get yourself a notebook and write own the thoughts that bother you.

        This does not mean that you will get rid of them right away, but the moment you take that first step to face your negative thoughts and banish them from your mind, they begin to lose their grip, and you will begin to have control over what thoughts occupy your mind.

  5. This is a great article Ali…and so very true. I know from personal experience that changing your life takes time and you can’t escape doing some hard yards. Thanks for the reminder.

  6. So true Ali, I have read hundreds of books and audio programs and none of them really made an impact in my life. They were great for inspiring me and even giving me new ideas but it has and always will be up to me to make real changes in my life.

  7. Brilliant! Until I realized that *I* was the only one who could rescue my life, I continued to sit on the sidelines hoping that someday I would find the missing piece.

    I had to realize there wasn’t one!

    I had ultimate responsibility as the architect of my life. You’re right…real change takes work…but if more people realized that the energy it takes to work for change will create momentum, focus and direction, then they would probably give up the search for the “secret” trick or tip and just get busy working. Good stuff.

  8. Hello alli,
    You are totally right marketers are only interested in your money, that is what they run on. Take for example, weight loss pills/exercise machines. Truth is markters are manipulative. They mess with lighting in the room or photoshop the image to make participants look more slim and slender. Here is a video that proves it. http://youtu.be/M957dACQyfU
    Even though products do help, all that is needed is Faith, Consistency, and Hard Work.
    I always say “if you want something done you need to do it your way.” Truth of the matter is everyone is different and things work differently for everyone. you and only you have the power to change yourself, if your willing too.

  9. Hi Ali, thanks for this. There is so much good information out there but no matter how good it is no one can get results without effort. I work with so many people who are still looking for that magic bullet and I agree 100% that it doesn’t work. Once you make even a little effort in the direction of what you want you can see results.

  10. Great writing Ali!
    From my personal experience, changing life take lots of time, hard work and motivation. Such courses/ebooks can guide you but in terms of growth you have to walk yourself.

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