Information Obesity

Information Obesity

If we consumed food the way we consume information, we’d be a nation of 1,000 pounders.

I work with a lot of big brains and get asked for a ton of advice.

The #1 problem with you big-brainers is you mistake information consumption for progress.

Books, TED Talks, podcasts, blogs (ahem), NPR, trade publications, breaking news…

…if you could stick a USB into your earhole and download it all, you would.

But amidst all of your information consumption, ask yourself:

  1. Have you catalyzed any actual experiences?

  2. Have you created anything?

The Big Bang of Information Consumption

Eric Schmidt, Chairman of Google, said that we’re creating more content and information every two days than since the dawn of man until 2003.

It’s virtually impossible to wrap your mind around the enormity of that reality.

If humankind’s existence was represented by a 24-hour clock, two days would represent less than the single tick of a second.

Hear that? (That’s the sound of your mind exploding…)

Sugar for the Intellectually Hungry

Books, TED Talks, podcasts, blogs etc are like sugar for the intellectually hungry.

Your big brain wants to be fed. So you consume more and more delicious information to satiate it.

Keep this pattern up long enough, you become addicted.

That long car drive, lonely night in bed, cross-country flight…you jam more and more information into your orifices to fight off that nasty withdrawal.

Creation vs. Consumption

Has your information consumption really changed anything in your life (beyond occasionally delighting a colleague with that brilliant hyperlink you forwarded?)

I talk to so many smart people who I had enlightening conversations with 12 months prior. Too many of them are still stuck in the same place because they fail to take a leap into action or creation (despite reading 12 more months of books and thinking a lot!)

They’re still stuck in the same crappy relationships.

They’re still underwhelmed by their job.

They’re still unhappy with their physical health.

It’s time to shed some information weight.

Stop trying to find the perfect time, that perfect program, that perfect next step…just get into motion, man.

Motion generates immediate feedback on what works and what doesn’t.

And at that stage, true growth, real experiences, unbridled creation…are inevitable.


Amy Merrill