I have read a lot of "personal development" books over the years. And it could be argued that "a lot" could be defined as "too many". Some were really helpful, some a colossal waste of time, and most landed somewhere in between.

In that big pile of books (and so many more out there), there's a never ending stream of how-to's, tips and tricks, and bulleted lists outlining the precise steps you need to take to find success in whatever particular endeavor you're interested in. The more specific the instructions, and the bolder the claims for success, the more books they sell. Everybody seems to want to be told what to do and how to find that failure-proof way to succeed.

Except that it doesn't work that way.

The world keeps changing at an accelerating pace and the terrain around us seems to shift substantially every time we turn around. Which makes someone else's printed map pretty useless. Collecting and trying to use those maps can actually do more harm than good because they give us a false sense of security. Instead of learning to be better at making our own maps we're following a path towards yesterday's success. Meanwhile things keep changing.

So I'm trying to be a lot more picky in where I invest my time and attention. The books, blogs, programs, etc, that provide map-making tools (to help me get better at making my own map) are worth their weight in gold. The ones selling a "guaranteed" map are worthless (except for making money for the author...).