They say awareness is the first step to anything. You can’t lose weight, earn a million dollars, heal your relationships or find Jesus unless you begin with a certain level of awareness. You must first know what you need to do; and then you can go about pursuing your goal.
But there’s a difference between knowing something and actually doing it. In fact there’s a vast gap for most people between acquiring knowledge and actually implementing that wisdom. Take healthy eating for example. Most of us are fully aware that if we eat more vegetables and less sugar, we would be healthier. Easier said than done, right?
If you’re an information junkie like me, you can appreciate this predicament. You crave the act of seeking and absorbing the knowledge. You want to know everything from how to increase your website ranking in Google to how to make a vegan cupcake. But you often can’t be bothered with taking the necessary steps to incorporate what you’ve learned into your life. You’re too busy learning. You’ve moved onto something else.
Sometimes, in your quest for knowledge, you find a burst of confidence. You read a business book or listen to a keynote speaker and pat yourself on the back saying “I knew that already!” You’re so pleased with your impressive array of knowledge that you forget to ask the most important question — if you know it already, why aren’t you doing it?
Knowledge gained from experience is infinitely more valuable than knowledge gained from studies. We know this. So why aren’t we doing it?
Is it because we think it’s too hard to implement? Perhaps. Nobody said it was easy to love thy neighbor, exercise 30 minutes a day and write a blog. But we can’t use the challenge as an excuse – because we’re the kind of people who thrive on a challenge! So what is it then? What is the reason we continue to seek new information without taking time to fully integrate the knowledge we’ve gathered?
My theory: we’re using the journey of learning itself as a crutch. We never quite reach our destination if we keep learning new concepts. And we can’t fail if we haven’t actually completed the process of implementation. We tell ourselves that we’re actively doing something to work toward our goal as long as we continue to learn. So we take online courses in business and parenting. We read books on social media and meditation. We participate in Bible Study and attend conferences. We’re like Seinfeld’s famous under-achiever George Costanza – always appearing to be busy but never actually producing anything.
The solution: get in the trenches and start doing. Remember when you read “What to Expect When You’re Expecting?” Fabulous resource – but did it really teach you anything about motherhood? Did it truly prepare you for parenting? Not until you brought your newborn baby home from the hospital did you have to take that knowledge and put it into practice. That’s when you began the real learning.
So what have you been learning about but avoiding doing? Writing a blog? Building a website? Teaching a course? Starting a business? Isn’t it time you stopped using learning as a crutch and a substitute for action? Aren’t you tired of making excuses for lack of action? What are you going to DO about it today? Post a comment and let me know – I’d love to hear from you!