Apply What You Know: Why Action Holds Greater Power Than Knowledge
We’ve probably all heard the phrase "knowledge is power." Many of us have also eagerly endeavored to be more educated, study countless books and actively pursue knowledge in whatever means we can, all in the hopes of bettering ourselves.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that; knowledge is a fantastic asset, and it can take us so far. But, that's only if we apply it.
If we take what we know and turn it into action, we can fill our lives to the brim with our learnings.
From my own experience, I’ve gained plenty of knowledge: about myself, about life and about how to get what I want.
I’ve inundated my brain with "Ted Talks," myriads of articles and a sizable chunk of the inspirational quotes available on Instagram.
I could dish out advice left, right and center, and even lay out plan after plan for myself to achieve my goals.
But, until I took those steps, I wouldn’t have what I wanted. Until I took my own advice, I would be a hypocrite.
Theory is wonderful, but if it’s just waiting on the tip of your tongue ready to preach, it can stunt your growth.
Until we get practical and turn our words into actions, the knowledge we acquire is merely potential, not power.
Knowing heaps and doing nothing led to incredible frustration for me in the past.
So for me, here’s why action is power:
Talk is cheap.
Communication is only 7 percent verbal, and you can learn a lot from people by their actions, their experiences and how they conduct themselves.
Without intending to fill this point with clichés, actions do speak louder than words, and I really believe that to be true in all avenues of life.
You can tell me that you know it all and you’ve read every single book there is, but if you haven’t been through it, you can’t "know" what it’s like.
I will always vouch for experience being the best teacher with our mistakes as our curriculum. That’s how we really learn.
Whether it’s relationships, fitness or mental health, our knowledge is only as expansive as our own active experience of them.
It kicks fear's butt.
Little by little, I've come to trust that action is the antidote to fear.
Overcoming our fears may kick off with a lot of convincing self-talk, but ultimately, diving in and "just doing it" is how sh*t gets done.
I’ve had a litany of irrational fears rule my life over the years, and I eventually realized that one by one, they could be beaten by taking action.
Whether it was letting big things go, trying something new or just putting myself out there, no amount of knowing I could do it would get rid of the fear.
I had to actually take that leap and believe it’d be okay.
Obviously, it’s no walk in the park to just jump right on in; but from practice, I know every time a fear comes up now, the only way out is through action.
It sparks experience.
Taking action gives us experiences we’d otherwise miss out on.
I can do my research and know exactly what I want to do and how it needs to be done, but if I put it off day after day, I’ll never really know what it’s like.
Acting on our ideas, practicing our plans and doing what we know is good for us gives us the experiences that’ll help us grow.
There’s no point knowing you deserve more but never looking for more. There’s no point having goals but doing none of the work toward achieving them.
I've had various ideas I've wanted to try, but when I actually acted them out, I realized how much there was to gain from the experience.
Without it, there's no change.
Recently, change is what I wanted most, and that’s where my frustration crept its way in.
I knew the theory of change, I knew exactly how to get what I was seeking, and I knew what needed to be done. But, I just wasn’t doing it.
Motivation was low, and procrastination was high. So, I was stuck, bursting with knowledge I was ignoring.
Change begins with awareness, which leads to acceptance and then, finally, to action. Action is the turning point; the catalyst to change.
Without it, I’m just sitting here, feeling lazy, having all the answers and none of the results.
Using our awareness to create change in our lives is powerful, but that power only arises from implementing what we know.
We can't just do it once, either. It’s not about ticking a little box and saying we’ve done it.
The consistent action in forming a habit is what creates lasting change in our lives.
With any goal or plan in life, action is the key. Knowing you’re in desperate need of a holiday is quite different to actually booking one.
Knowing how to get fit and actually getting off your ass and working out are similarly quite different.
We’re smart people, and there’s abundant knowledge at our fingertips. But, until we actually start to apply it, we’re simply taking away our own power.