Five reasons why you should stop reading posts, articles and stories that have numbered or bulleted lists about why and/or how you should change your life:
1. The list, by its very nature, plays to your fantasy that there is a “silver bullet solution” to whatever challenge you are facing. There is not. The road to meaningful change is non-linear, challenging, confusing and uncomfortable. Get on it anyway.
2. The list thinks it is being helpful by being more consumable and user-friendly. It thinks that for its value to stand out in the crowded marketplace of ideas it must be brief and clever. This reinforces the widely held belief that we are no longer willing to read and think deeply on a subject we care about. No one committed to meaningful change believes this. Because it isn’t true.
3. Lists contain the uncomfortable subtext of playing to the middle; the average reader. Since you are above average, full of possibility and potential, there isn’t much value there for you. You are looking for deeper interactions and more meaningful content. And both are waiting for you.
4. Fast is a fallacy. Lists and bullet-points patronize us into believing that the more we can get and the quicker we can get it, the better off we will be. Wrong. I’ll take a crock pot over a microwave any day. Slow and steady.
5. Lists are for the grocery store. The work of change, growth and development is the domain of meaning: big conversations, internal discovery, external experimentation, deepening character, expanding resilience, broadening capacity for change.
We want it easy and they are all too willing to serve it up that way. Except that it isn’t easy and false promises are not worthy of you.
Forget the lists and get to work.