Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I have noticed that many articles online on various news websites and blogs contain lists, whether it is the 5 steps to take to simplify your life or the 15 ways to get motivated. These are appealing to people for a couple of reasons. They are sort of like a Cliff's Notes version of the relevant content of the article, thus one can read it more quickly. More importantly however, I think lists are a way for the reader to turn their mind off. If some authority (whether that person is really an authority or just someone who has is popular) gives you the steps you need to take, it is appealing to think about how if you take those steps, you will achieve whatever the goal is. This is easier said than done.

Why is it that so many lists and books which contain algorithms are so popular, but rarely change people's lives? For example, many of the "get rich" books are top sellers and readers praise them. I bet that most of them are not millionaires, and I bet nearly all of them have really applied anything in the book to their lives. There is some psychological appeal to having the nice pretty little list so that when you get around to it eventually, you'll have all the info you need. The important thing is to actually think about the list, and if it is worthwhile, apply it. Again, this is easier said than done, but I am sure there is list somewhere on how to get motivated...

No comments: