As a normal human being, you prefer to be told what to do rather than to tell your self what to do; you want to be inspired; you are influenced from external sources; and you want your life instructions delivered in neat and convenient little packages—you want a list of things to do—you want to find pieces of information that describe, step by step, how the author of the information and the author’s friends, business associates, and/or people they have studied, have manufactured immense financial wealth.
The author, to satisfy these wants, will then proceed to explain in simple and concise detail how you can strike it rich, or at least how to avoid being poor, just as he or she (or those other fortunate subjects) did. You want to believe that these so-called rich people are self-made individuals who simply adhered to this list of things to do and henceforth produced massive wealth and uninterrupted happiness. And, of course, this list of things to do will work the same for you and every other person that reads it! After all, a clear and paved road is much easier to travel than a path that does not yet exist--your own path.
Normal is to prefer to take a few short steps to find what you want, rather than taking many uncertain steps to find what you really need.
Even better, your brain’s shortcut criteria will have you follow in someone else’s steps. Saying or knowing what to do, however, whether your pursuit is financial or otherwise, cannot be responsibly accomplished without first knowing who you are. If you purpose in life is to fly, reading information on how to swim is, at a minimum, a tragic distraction!
And thus you have arguably the greatest problem with most financial books and media messages: They are lists of things to do that have great potential to distract or to draw you away from who you are. Obtaining self-knowledge is not necessarily a complex and arduous series of self-assessment tests, but rather a function of the uncovering of your self from layer upon layer of social conventions, media noise, other people and language… and if you discover that your purpose is to fly, you will know not to buy a book about swimming, no matter how attractive swimming may appear!
You must create your own list of things to do; but first you will find it necessary to create a list of things to undo!