It’s simple: information is not useful; transformation is.
Recently, I was listening to a speech by one of my favourite business authors, Michael Ellsberg.
Ellsberg relates the story of how his personal battles with bipolar disorder—severe mania and severe depression–were exacerbated by a poor diet.
Doctors told Ellsberg that he was severely sensitive to changes in blood sugar levels, and therefore alcohol and processed sugars were having an incredibly detrimental, depression-inducing effect for him.
Granted, Ellsberg was in a relatively unique position medically—I’m not here to give diet advice!
The simple answer for someone in a case like this is simply to cut sugar and alcohol from his diet. However, Ellsberg’s response to this may strike a chord an is the point of this post:
Ellsberg told his doctor flat-out that he would rather be dead than give up alcohol, coffee, and sugar.
In fact, it took many years and further bouts with depression for Ellsberg to reach a point of no return—he had the courage to face his fears and actually give up on the substances that were poisoning him.
After two difficult weeks, Ellsberg found that a cloud had lifted: his depressive tendencies and mood swings had simply disappeared.
The moral of the story is that Ellsberg had the information he needed to make the change, but he didn’t make the transformation.
This happens for often than you might think in GMAT preparation. How many times have you sat down and done every single exercise in the Official Guide?
Do you understand all of them? If not, have you repeated them enough times?
Have you isolated a problem with, say, Sentence Correction and then researched that particular technique or individual grammar point until it is no longer a problem?
Is it easier just to say “I’m no good at Data Sufficiency?”
Let’s face it—if you know you need to improve and you know that there are places where you’re weak, you are probably doing the same thing that Ellsberg was doing.
That is, you know that improvement is necessary—I’m willing to bet that you know what needs to be improved.
If you need help with HOW to improve, speak to a GMAT coach today!
Use your information to be your transformation.
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p.s. The entire Ellsberg speech is located here.
p.p.s. Tell me about another time where you knew exactly what to do but didn’t do it.