How many times have you thought to yourself something sounded to good to be true, yet gave it a shot anyway? If you have done this, you almost always come away with little to no lasting gain. After you factor in the money and time invested you're at a loss.
Vulnerability can overpower rational decision making. The desire to improve a scenario can leave one taking risks they otherwise would have not have taken. Unfortunately, this vulnerable group is either intentionally or unintentionally the target audience for many of the sources of the most common areas of self improvement.
In my previous article It Is The Mark Of An Educated Mind... I talked about some of the common sources of information, primarily social media, that people turn to. Once you've identified potential quality resources, you can apply the following checklist before you invest your time, money and energy.
Identify what it’s not: Do you know what you’re getting?
Identify actionable pieces of information: If you can’t, there aren’t any.
Can it be measured: How will you know if it is working? Protect against your own bias.
Consistent message: A changing message is a cautionary flag.
Compared to what: Relative to other options, or doing nothing.