What You Know is Useless (Or Why You Shouldn’t Bother to Think)

3792260561 1ccba560dd o d What You Know is Useless (Or Why You Shouldnt Bother to Think)

… Without Action.

Regardless of how much you learn or how much self reflection goes on in your head – if you don’t put it to action you might as well not be thinking.

Knowledge is power.

Buddha: What we think, we become.

Our thoughts are one of our greatest resources, yet they easily become an escape – a prison in which we gladly lock ourselves.

In relationships, lifestyle design, business, health – whatever aspect of life – we escape into our thoughts as a means of avoiding the world around us.  We embark upon a quest to live among the clouds and believe we are flying when we are really falling.

Falling into complacency, habit, unconsciousness.  We fall into a life where we are no longer the governing force and become governed instead.

Is that how we want to live? In our heads – in the clouds of thoughts, drifting along in our own passing fancy?

That’s not how I want to live.  Regardless of how much positive thinking I have, if I don’t get down to business I’m really just full of it, pretending to be what I’m not.

When you learn something new, it is then that you must be bold and give that knowledge life.  Put yourself out there with the possibility of failure and stand a chance of understanding the knowledge you possess.

My most recent example:

I recently finished Keith Ferrazzi’s book on networking, Never Eat Alone, and began taking action on the information.

Networking, staying connected, being social with strangers – these are things I’ve usually been bad at or that make me uncomfortable.  Yet, something different was driving me to put into action the things I was reading about.

With each step where I reached out, called an old friend, sent followup messages, and talked to strangers, I felt emboldened to reach higher, extend my knowledge further and connect with the people I know and meet everyday.

Until I found myself sitting in an airport in an hour long conversation with a japanese student about our own lives, interests and family.  We struggled over the language barrier.  We managed to laugh a bit.  I even shared with her the information of a friend of mine who runs a photography blog when she expressed her own interests in photography – she was new to the area and would be there a while, and I believed she would benefit from knowing this particular friend.

The faster you put newly acquired knowledge into practice the faster you get past the stumbling stages and can excel at applying that knowledge.

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.

~Johan Wolfgang von Goethe

Reach out and engage with the world, even if your knowledge is imperfect, even if you have self doubt.  Recognize that it is there and then act anyways and own it.

What have you learned that you’ve been neglecting to act upon?

Don’t ask yourself why, you’re only escaping again with self-justifications.

Go. Do.

If you need to: 3-2-1 Go!

Flickr photo by hathu-.

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  • Solid post mate! I know I think much more than I act. I'm always afraid of what might happen if I do it wrong or to late or to early but you can never find out if you don't go and try it.

    Ready, Fire, Aim. Ready, Fire, Aim.

  • Indeed... ready, fire, aim is the method.

  • Rob

    I couldn't agree more, I try to have a practice (calendar, recorded note, actionable wordage on a sticky!) that triggers action when I've acquired knowledge of value! ... making that practice or system reliable and flexible for all sorts of knowledge seems to be the trick. I've got one I like, do you?

  • I've got a few rough systems that I work with - nothing very concrete, but they seem to work with me.

    I find the more complex the system the less I use it - it's really an act of will for me than anything else.

  • CathD

    I totally agree... always prioritize imperfect action (and real-world feedback) over perfect plans on paper or in your head! There are things you can experience and learn in the real world that you can never experience and learn in your mind.

    Cath

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