Books, visions, and an itch.

I’m pissed off with books. No wait, maybe that isn’t quite right, it’s more like I am having a serious love / hate relationship with books at the moment. I cannot seem to get enough of them, I devour them and use them, and then I get angry with them for making me think, feel and question things. It reminds me of a damn good romance although that may also just be me because I long for the movie styled happy ending. In fact there seems to be no end in sight for me and books at the moment, and I have no idea if this will have a happy ending either!

 

I gravitate towards many types of books, my favourite would always be a good travel story, full of discoveries, adventure and the thrill of the new and the beauty of nature. These kinds of books are my ultimate procrastination books, books such as “into the wild”, “wanderlust”, “a mad world my masters” etc  I disappear into the book for days and can do nothing else, aka procrastinate.

 

After that I get the need for inspiration and motivation and read books like the Malcom Gladwell books (I love everyone of them) or “Freakonomics” by Stephen Dubner, the behance series of books such as “Maximise your potential” and “Manage your day-to-day”. I also love “the creative compass” by Sierra Prasada and Dan Millman, and “Write Every Day” by Cathy Yardley, as well as any of Brene Brown’s books.  These kinds of books get me all inspired and motivated to do stuff and I feel like I am ready to take on the world. No exaggeration at all.

 

But here is where the problem comes in, I cannot figure out what to do or how to do what. Enter the self-help section. I love self-help books, I am sucked in by the promising titles, the desire to get better, grow, live to my full potential. I am like a moth to a flame and I fly straight into the heat with no fear of betting burnt. I am not unaware that this is just yet another form of procrastination, “I will just read this one book, when I am finished I will take action and really do something”, is something I commonly hear in my head. Well one book follows another and another and another. It is not because I don’t want to do anything, it is because I don’t know exactly what it is that I want to do and I work in absolutes, it’s just how I am hard wired. I need to know where I’m going and why, and at the moment I lack vision, I lack direction. I have read some great books, books I would highly recommend like “the four hour work week”, “the alchemist”, “a beautiful anarchy”, SUMO, etc. All great books which leave you feeling as though you can really do it, you can make the life you want to live into a reality.

 

But do you want to know what happens if you are a little bit lost like I am and overdose on these books, you start waking up at 4am because your brain won’t turn off, you want to dive straight in, but you don’t know where it is that you need to dive, you want to follow your passion and make a living from it, but you don’t know where to start. All the books say start small and build up, but you are left thinking, ok that sounds great, now where do I start and you know what that does to me, it makes me pick up yet another book again looking for inspiration, motivation and searching for direction. I am no closer to figuring anything out, I am no closer to following my dreams, I am however full of the belief that anything is possible and one day I will make “it?” happen. I know the answer is not in the books, it is in the action and I have to do something to get somewhere, wherever that somewhere might be. No one can tell what or where I need to go, no one can give me my vision or tell me which direction to take, I need to do that.

 

And here is where we circle back around, welcome back procrastination my favourite friend (and yes I have read “the War of Art” and tell myself RESISTANCE on a daily basis), bring on the travel books, books on nutrition, photography books, anything where I can escape my head and give myself that illusion that there is in fact more time. If you are anything like me and have this crazy head spinning “what” going around in your brain please let me know! And if you were like me and found your way out of this cycle, please please please feel free to give me some butt kicking advice and rid me of this itch!

 

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  • Tracy Bradbury

    Really great article and one that I relate too so well as you are exactly the same as me – hope we can both find a solution to this problem one day <3ReplyCancel

  • Jules

    Simple. No more self help books.
    No more “inspirational” books that are not really inspiring anything but making you feel “less than”

    Stop looking for the answers from others and find the question inside you.
    You are unique, you have talents, you have gifts.
    You will not be able to find them in the words of others because they don’t know what is in your heart.

    You are using the books as a reason to not start “doing”
    They are a crutch to hide your fears.
    No more books for you.

    Stand on the edge of the cliff, take a deep breath and jump.

    What is the worst that is going to happen?
    You might land on your knees the first time, but you will have done something, anything and then you walk back to the top and you jump again, and this time you know how it feels when you land, you don’t need to be afraid.

    I know you can do it. xxooReplyCancel

    • imagesbycassandra

      Thank you my friend I am very lucky to have you!ReplyCancel

  • Haha- Cassandra, I also read, and read and read and read. One thing leads to another. I can so relate! Though I have stopped reading self help- there is no saving for me. I have given up and started living as I am. Suck the rest!ReplyCancel

    • imagesbycassandra

      Lynette I think I may run away from self-help for a while too!! Here’s to living as we are! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • M Raarup

    Great post! I missed seeing your work on CM so I just googled your name and “stalked” a little. we took nl101 together a LONG time ago and I love your landscape/cityscapes.
    cheers!ReplyCancel

    • imagesbycassandra

      Yeah Meredith!!! I am so happy you found me!! I am going to see if I can find you on Facebook ok!ReplyCancel

  • First, thanks for mentioning WRITE EVERY DAY. (It’s how I found your blog!) I’m glad it’s been inspiring. That said, I can relate to what you’re talking about — the procrastination cycle, the mind-won’t-shut-up-at-4-a.m. syndrome, all of it. I don’t know if this will help or not, but I’m starting to suspect I’ve got some ADHD issues (my son is being tested for it, and it seemed very, very familiar.) It includes that all-or-nothing mentality, and a sort of paralysis when faced with too many choices. The things that have helped: pick one small step towards one of your dreams. Doesn’t matter which one, as long as you can get it done in a short amount of time. Then visualize yourself doing it that day. The other thing: get an accountability buddy. Even just getting an email every week saying “how did last week go? And what do you want to do this week?” can be really helpful, I’ve found. Good luck!ReplyCancel

    • imagesbycassandra

      Cathy, firstly thank you so much for taking the time to comment here I appreciate that! I really loved your book and I have your “rock your plot” book waiting for me too. Your advice is great, I know that I need to focus smaller and over longer periods. I actually have a meeting with a life coach set up for this year to work on getting my focus right. The way you describe that “all-or-nothing mentality” really hits home. Thank you again Cathy, and thank you for your books too!ReplyCancel