Have you ever failed to reach a fitness goal?
Yeah, most of us did too.
There are many causes of course, but I think one common cause is insufficient or inaccurate information.
Over the last two years I’ve learned a very valuable lesson: In order to achieve any kind of enduring success we must base our actions on precise information. Otherwise, we put ourselves at risk of wasting our time or getting bad results.
In this article I’ll give you my 4 step system that will help you identify whether what you read or hear is accurate information or not.
Google is both a Friend and a Foe
Personally, I wasted a lot of time in the gym and endured ridiculous diets because of bad information I got online.
A big mistake I used to do was searching a topic on Google and believing the information that came up in the first links. The reason this is a mistake is that Google gives you what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for the advantages of 6 meals per day you’ll find them. If you’re looking for the health problems of eating meat, you’ll find them. You’ll find information to back up just about any belief you have.
No, really, try it. Just type something stupid like: lose weight with lemons or build muscle with watermelons or burn chest fat with treadmill. You’ll find what you’re looking for.
So then how can you find good information online? I’ve finally figured it out! Here are my 4 steps:
4 Steps for Identifying Accurate Information Online
Always identify the source of the information
Napoleon Hill one time said “How do you know?” is the favorite question of the thinker. That’s so true! The next time someone gives you advice you suspect might be incorrect ask them: How do you know?
If the person answers “ Well I read somewhere that…” or “That’s what I heard” or “Believe me I know this stuff” you immediately must put yourself on guard because the information you’re receiving is probably flawed. You’ll see that most of the time people actually give you their opinion, not facts. They will not be able to identify the source for you.
You should do the same with information found online. Check the source.
If you can find no reliable source for the information, reject the advice 99.9% of the time. It’s not worth wasting your time doing something wrong.
Now if you do discover a source, you’ll move on to step #2.
Always check the author or speaker
Is the author an authority in his or her field? Does the author have experience or formal studies on the subject? Does the author practice what he preaches? What’s the author’s source of information? – These are a series of questions to ask when you discover a new source of information.
You’d be surprised how few people pass this test.
You’ll sometimes find that a person with no formal education can be very well prepared in their field. Even outstanding. These people usually demonstrate what they say by personal example and the results of their work. Other times you’ll find that a person with many years of education and many degrees is almost incompetent. My doctor used to be that way… When I was 13 years old I spent a week in hospital because my doctor thought I had hepatitis. I actually had sinusitis… I’m not a doctor but I’m pretty sure those two conditions are pretty different.
At the end of the day, why would you listen to a doctor that’s always sick? Why would you listen to a fat and unhealthy nutritionist? Why would you take financial advice from a person who is flat broke?
A pretty wise teacher from the plains of Galilee about 2000 years ago said “By their fruits you’ll know them.” In other words, by their results you’ll know them.
Find a mentor
A mentor is someone who has achieved the results you’re after and can show you how to get there. How do you find a mentor? If you apply the first two steps above I think you’ll find one in less than a week. You’re not going to listen to everything and everyone. And when you read or hear something you’re sure it’s true, you’re going to follow that person. At least for a while.
Once you found a person who achieved what you’re trying to achieve, start copying them and doing what they tell you. You must believe in something otherwise you’ll fall for everything.
The beautiful part about these people is that they’ll be open with their sources. They may name the source even before they speak so they may establish credibility. That is a person you can trust and follow.
Another great benefit of having a mentor is that they’ll recommend other people who can help you – their teachers. For instance my first fitness mentor was Greg O’Gallagher. I came across Greg’s site in the summer of 2013 and I knew I could trust the guy. Through him I found Nate Miyaki, Martin Berkhan and Mike Matthews. In their turn they led me to Lyle McDonald, Alan Aragon, Stuart McRobert, Eric Helms, Greg Nuckols and many others. These guys could teach me everything I want to know about fitness. Filtering information is no longer the problem in my case. I now only need time to read it all!
Make your own decisions
And the most awesome thing is that you get to decide what you’re going to do in the end. I’m quoting Jim Rohn again: “Make sure that what you end up doing is the product of your own conclusions.” Take the information, study it, dissect it, turn it upside down, understand it and then make your own informed decision. Even if you get it wrong, at least it was your decision.
You know best where you want to go and what you want to achieve. If I said for instance that drinking coffee in the morning is great for fat loss because it inhibits your appetite, that doesn’t mean you have to do it. The information is true but you may not want to drink coffee. You’ve made the informed decision to do what is best for you. That’s when you have the power.
My source of information for this article
Once you start studying any subject you’ll automatically become more selective with the information you accept as true. You’ll easily know who is great at what they’re doing and who is incompetent. You’ll find that you’ll start choosing books by author instead of title. You’ll become a great reader and will enjoy the whole process of learning very much.
It’s pretty awesome!
Now in closing I wanted to share my source of information and inspiration for this article. It’s one of the rare recordings of Napoleon Hill.
Napoleon Hill is the first author to write a practical philosophy of achievement. Many people credit him for jump-starting the personal development industry. Throughout his life he studied the most successful people of that time, people like Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, John D. Rockefeller, Theodore Roosevelt, William Wrigley and many, many other such examples. Today thousands of millionaires claim that their success was largely influenced by the writings of Napoleon Hill.
The video below is a small part of the program “Your Right to be Rich“. This is the 11th lesson, on Accurate Thinking. It’s a phenomenal lesson. I wouldn’t have spent 4 hours making a Romanian subtitle if I didn’t recognize the value of this material. I would suggest you listen to this recording. You’ll be glad you did!