The Reason You’re Still Searching for Information

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!

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15 thoughts on “The Reason You’re Still Searching for Information

  1. You identified one of my issues! It seems easier to seek out more information than to make that call or decide on a plan for reaching a wider audience. Unfortunately I do this in my home, too. I will be more aware of my motives and make sure the appropriate actions are taken before I seek more knowledge. 
    Thank you for sharing and I look forward to looking into your ministry, after I’ve DONE something 🙂

    • I agree, Mukkove – it’s often difficult to tell when it’s time to stop the gathering of information and start the implementation:-) My husband laughs at me because he can always tell what I’m ‘into’ by the fact that I will purchase no less than 10 books on the subject (or – if he’s lucky – I’ll check them out of the library instead!). Good luck with your action step and be sure to come back and let me know how it works for you:-)

  2. Well, you hit that nail on the head!  I’ve been “researching” going back to school – programs of study, financial aid, etc.  I’m going to stop researching & call and make an appointment with an admissions coordinator!

  3. I see this happen to nursing students all the time, too. They search and search for the “best” study guide, and even buy several of them…but then they collect dust while the student is still failing nursing school! I struggle with it to…you know me, I’m an information collector!

  4. Guilty as charged! Not only am I always “learning”, I also have a stack of more resources for more information to absorb (aka: learning). UGH. Nike said it best: JUST DO IT! Thank you Theresa for making us take an honest look at ourselves and laugh 🙂

    • Confession, Kelly: I have a list of no less than 10 programs/courses/books I’ve already purchased and haven’t had time to really absorb. Some are business…some are on parenting…some are bible studies. Try speed reading a devotional- doesn’t work that well!! My ‘learning life’ is like one of those all-you-can-eat buffets — way too much for one person to take in. Gotta stop stuffing the crackers in my pockets – I’m never going to eat them later anyway:-)

  5. You’ve got me described to a “T”!  If I’d DO more instead of TALKING about it, I’d be halfway down the road by now!  Sadly, fear holds me back.  The fear includes rejection, failure or even succeeding and then getting my priorities out of whack…guess I need a big dose of trust in God 🙂 

  6. OMG!  You sound like my husband. It’s time to take action. Still not sure where to start…. 

    • Didn’t mean to sound like your hubby! I”ve not been accused of that before, Marsha:-) If you’re not sure where to start, you probably either have TOO MANY things on the list or you’re not CLEAR on what your goal is (so you don’t know which task is highest priority). Sound familiar?

  7. Wow! You pegged me! I am so convicted right now and so needed that word. Fail or not, here I go today! Thank you so much!

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