I tend to ask my girlfriend what she thinks before moving forward with a task or action. Overtime I have relied on her more and more for advice on smaller and smaller things. This is wrong for several reasons and is something that happens a lot online. How do I know? I know because of the prevalence of “how-to” blog posts. I as much or as more than other people love to learn, which is the point of a how-to post, but there’s a point where self-reliance gives way to reliance on others to tell us how to think and how to do what.
The advice on several blogs I read religiously have “how to” posts. How to do this, how to do that. It is not hard to find posts that tell you how to do something better. I enjoy them immensely and have learned a lot. But all this “how to” advice seems to be contradicting maybe the most common advice online: take action, do something, now. If you are reading “how to” posts constantly, you are not taking action. The time used reading how to write “amazing content” for instance, is lost when one could have just started writing and developing their own methods that work for them. There’s value in learning “how to” do something, but there is even more to gain from figuring it out yourself and learning from your failures and victories (another common piece of advice out there: try a lot of stuff and don’t be afraid to fail).
The fault isn’t necessarily in the blogger who writes the “how-to” post (unless all their posts are “how-to,” or the information is so vague and obvious). Most bloggers have a wealth of knowledge and are doing a service to their readers for providing free information that would be much harder to obtain a decade or two ago. The fault is in the reader that over-saturates themselves with “how-to” content. It is up to the reader to gauge how much learning is too much. And it’s the reader’s job to take action in their own lives. But it’s the readers job to be critical of the blogger. Ask hard questions, don’t believe the blogger if you know better. Innovation in life stops when everyone agrees and follows the same process. Think for yourself and you might be surprised how much you can do by yourself.