Stimulation Information Overload

“In the end we retain from our studies only that which we practically apply.” – Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

How often do you learn a new piece of brilliant information and think ‘I’m going to start doing this tomorrow and then tomorrow comes and you completely forgot about it?

How many times have you read an inspiring and insightful self-help book only to retain 1% of the information the day after finishing it?

If you’ve ever taken an online course that you loved, the information was valuable yet you didn’t implement one aspect of what you learned?

Confession: I’m a recovering serial learner and I want to help you!


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Photo by Gaman Alice on Unsplash


For years, actually decades, I have dedicated my life to learning as much as possible.  Why?  I’ll get to that in a bit as this may help you.

I received my Master’s degree and immediately wanted to go back for my Ph.D.  It turned out to be fortunate that I couldn’t swing it at the time.

However, my need and thirst for learning kept me on the lookout for anything and everything I could devour to make my brain a supercomputer.

I do truly love learning.  I love diving into topics that intrigue me and take me into realms of things more esoteric (and often conspiracy-theory-driven).  Topics such as quantum mechanics, time travel, eastern philosophy, eastern medicine, anything to do with the human body, psychology, mental/brain function, and so much more.

But not only do I love learning these topics, but I also love diving deep into them so that I may get certified or become an expert in the field/topic.

For the last few decades, I have been on the journey to learn and soak up any potential information that may help me along the way of life and help others.

It all started when I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.  I didn’t want to believe that I would succumb to a life of medicine and a wheelchair.  I didn’t want to believe in Western medicine doctors who said I would get worse without putting toxic medicine in my body.

So I began researching.  And researching.  And researching some more.

I read books, listened to lectures, reviewed sources from other countries, and essentially became my own advocate.

As of writing this, I have been medicine and symptom-free for over 15 years!

But all this research and discovery got me to realize that there was so much to learn.

I branched out into different areas of topics and kept going from there.

I fell in love with the idea that I can help other people learn how to heal themselves.

I fell in love with finding modalities that most of the western world wouldn’t think of using.

I fell in love with ideas and theories that not only healed the body but had zero negative side effects.

Now you may be thinking ‘What’s wrong with all of that?’

That’s what we are going to dive into so that you can learn from my Stimulation Information Overload.

At the beginning of my journey, I had fewer areas of interest.  I wanted to heal and understand the human body on a great level than was taught in grad school.  My focus was solely on the human body.

With an MS in Kinesiology, I really understood the body mechanically.  I was an expert in body movement.  But body movement didn’t explain human behavior.  Nor did it help me understand toxins and pathogens and their effect on the human body.

This is the point at which I dove deeply into nutrition.  American ideologies of nutrition were very much based on what was shown in TV commercials.  But I had a sneaking suspicion that something seemed fishy.

I then sought out a Holistic doctor.  This doctor treated the body as a whole.

This was a point of another realization that the mind and body cannot be separated.  If our body is relying on our mind to do the right things to stay healthy, then they must act together and are not separate from each other.

Then this led me to understand human behavior.

I will end with my story at this point as you should get the idea now.

It was realization after realization that there is never an end to learning something new.

But my thirst for knowledge was on the border of unhealthy.  As I uncovered new avenues of topics, I began diving in multiple directions at once.

  • You could find me reading at least 2 non-fiction books at the same time.  I guarantee I loved the books.  What did I learn?  I couldn’t tell you!  Why?  Because I was too busy learning the next thing.
  • I would watch a video on how to raise my vibration, meditate and start a gratitude journal.  I would start all of these on the same day and within 3 days I would forget I even started.  Why?  Because I went down the next avenue of what I wanted to learn.
  • I would sign up for a $40 self-help course that taught about crystals and how to create a crystal grid.  I would finish the course and then forget all about it the same day.
  • I signed up for an NLP Udemy course that cost $199.  I barely finished the course before I was on to the next topic barely applying what I learned.

This is the short list of all the things I have “learned”.  But really all I did was buy information that was barely retained.

If I could add up the cost of all the bought-for information, I could buy myself a 5 bedroom home on the beach in California.

I got to the point of wanting to learn everything possible that I was actually learning nothing at all.

You cannot possibly retain information when it is never applied.

Listening to or reading the information does not necessarily make you more knowledgeable.

I was experiencing Stimulation Information Overload.

Knowledge comes from experience.  

The experience comes from applying what you learned.

Check out this article all about habit forming.

How Long Does It Take to Develop a New Habit? — Habitly

Just because you read a book or take a course does not mean you retained the knowledge.  

Knowledge comes from the experience of action and repetition.

You must apply what you have learned, over a period of time, to fully understand the knowledge.

I know I am repeating myself but this is the point of my story.  I am repeating it so that you can read it more than once.

When we read something, we generally retain less than 50% of the material.

Now, I want you to think about something that was challenging for you to learn but after failing at it, it became much easier to learn.

You learned from the action of DOing and not just reading or listening.  DOing requires more brain activity and therefore retention.

Here are 2 things I want you to remember:

To make learning easier, teach the information – it doesn’t matter who your audience is (kids, friends, stuffed animals, yourself) talk about it out loud.  Say it in your own words.  Doing so helps you memorize more easily.  The more you teach it, the more you will remember.

Only tackle 1 or 2 new topics/ideas/habits at the same time – wanting to meditate for 30 minutes and journal for 20 minutes in the morning plus exercise for 50 minutes and then take an online course 5 days a week adds hours to an already busy schedule.  Likely you will give up on this immediately.  Limit yourself until you find it becomes at least a routine.  You must feel a reward from your new habit otherwise you won’t stick with it.

Let’s get back to Stimulation Information Overload and the ‘Why’ to all of this.

My first goal was to help myself heal.  Once I was on the path of healing, my second goal became to help others.  But it wasn’t enough to help others, I wanted to be the Superhero of helping others.


Because I suffered from low self-esteem.  I was compensating for what I felt I lacked in: looks, being desired, intelligence, etc.

It’s also about control.  If I have the knowledge to predict or control the outcome, I now have the control in my own hands and I won’t succumb to outside forces.

While I have done a lot of work on both self-confidence and control, there are times I find myself dipping a toe back into those waters.  I am careful about the pitfalls of letting myself get lost in the world of learning.  There can only be learning or applying.  There really are never both at the same time.

The best way to have a balance between learning and applying is to pick a topic you want to learn.  Gather all the information you desire.  Then apply the information by teaching.  Then move on to the next topic.

If you are extreme like me, I highly suggest you allow yourself to explore your ‘why’.  It is helpful to understand so that you don’t continue the cycle of only bringing in information.  After all, what good is the information if you never apply it?  It’s like cooking a meal and immediately throwing it away.

Sit with the information.

Allow yourself to explore it deeper.

Then share the gift of knowledge with others by teaching it to someone who could use the information.

I hope this helps you on your journey so that you never have to say you have Stimulation Information Overload.

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