Question from a reader -
"An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory." So how do you weigh learning vs. action? (implementation).
I've had great potential all my life.. but wasted it from being unfocused or a lack of discipline. Also I love learning.. too much. Too much information can quickly be paralyzing. I love the internet marketing niche. I have gone the whole 4 hour work week, Education of Millionaires, Uncollege type route. I've had success.. my own website.. and recently the launch of my own course. Recently I've been following a paleo style diet.. walking everyday and working out three times a day. I'm starting to use TimeDoctor and I plan to build a time diary fashioned off of yours. I sincerely appreciate any response or help. Take care.
D, I get this question sometimes.
You know what?
It's a false dichotomy.
You learn far more through action and implementation than you do through study. The retention rate of learning through passive study is very low, whereas the retention rate of deliberate study combined with taking action is much higher.
If you wanted to, say, get the most out of How To Win Friends And Influence People, you'd read 1-2 chapters per week, and try to practice the particular skill for that week.
If you wanted to, say, get the most out of a very tactics-oriented book on marketing, you'd go through it slowly, take out every concept that resonates with you, and immediately run a test of how the concept works.
Hell, you can do this with biographies, too. Read "Titan" by Chernow about Rockefeller, or "The Rise of House Rothschild" and stop every half of a chapter to imagine how it'd be applicable to the modern world -- and then do that action, immediately.
You'd learn more about your subject matter by doing it this way.
You know why people don't?
Because when you're learning only, you can't fail.
It's passive. You're not the actor. You're just calmly receiving knowledge.
I mean, that's fine, reading for pleasure is fine. But serious study requires action. There's a reason that when you learn chemistry, you go to labs and actually mix chemicals and do experiments instead of just studying a book.
Studying for pleasure is fine, if you're honest about the fact that that's what you're doing. If you're studying to train and get better, you need an action component alongside it to max out the chance of learning the lessons.
I'm bad at implementing. Whenever I read a book and it asks that you do a particular exercise before moving on, such as writing down your goals, I never do it.
I kid myself that I'll go back and do it after I've finished the book, but of course I never do.
I'm sure that by not fully participating in the exercises I'm not getting the full benefit.
You should start an e-learning academy based on the intek concept.
Like, the students would have to wear a webcam and go out and do stuff in the middle of a lesson :p
I love talking about me. I think action is always more important than learning out of a book (although both are required.) But, you must learn before you know which action to take and "somewhere" in the process we all come to a stopping point where our emotions become the blocking force and the only way to get through that part IS action. ...There are a lot of really smart people out there, that really want to see change or make moves. But when the **** hits the fan, they run and hide, and/or build an appearance/society based persona instead of pursuing whats right. Building a society based identity is the most honorable "visually" (what societies based off of) and what most people strive for. But the problem with this model is that to build a culturally strong role. You have to shine from a certain perspective, thus not "seeing" or understanding another angle. This is the biggest mistake in conversion/evolution.
I totally agree with you. I am more on the knowledge side. I know a lot of things. A lot. I had quite of time to learn. I have more than one academic degrees and read a few thousand books. So I am not ashamed to say that I am a man of vast culture, knowledge and skills. But its all theory and few pactice. In this world you either do or watch. In other words you're either from a contemplative school or active school. And the world belongs to the active. That's a fact. So learn. Learn a lot. But do like Nike says: "Just do it".
I disagree with you on the reason for people not implementing techniques.
I think it is:
more laziness/delusional thinking.
Its so easy to passively read; it barely requires effort. People delude themselves into thinking that this kind of skimmed/shallow knowledge will somehow benefit them if they get enough. That it would be more useful to read 20 books than to implement 1 book.
The best example I think of would be reading the business section of 3 newspapers everyday VS. working in the M&A department of a bank but being completely unaware of current events; the latter kicks the shit out of the former... but it sure feels good to think you are doing something useful in the former.
In a deluded model of [reward/effort]. Reading but not implementing gets a better ratio than implementing a small amount of reading... though is clearly delusional.
Its not fear. Its laziness. And being deluded.
That's great advice; the only problem is that it takes forEVER to get through books.
Since you advocate using audiobooks to read more often, how do you square that with the focus and attention require to think critically about what you're "reading?" Or do you simply keep certain books distinct: these are the books I'm reading for pleasure, these are the ones I'm going to study?
Also, the site looks great. You need a comments subscribe button though, or maybe I just missed it.
I've been following your blog for quite sometime now and your recent post struck a chord with me. I've found that I have no passion. Instead, I have a passion for the passionate, in the abstract. When I'm working near people who love what they do, can see their grand vision and have a pathway to the future it inspires me. From a chef to a programmer, if I meet a passionate person, I immediately want to be them.
I've made numerous blogs covering different topics. I've started a variety of different groups at university. I've even switched hobbies from martial arts to programming to yoyos. Nothing seems to stick. It seems I need a mentor of sorts to make sure I stay on track otherwise, some voice in my head is "ooh! try this! no no no! try this!"
My main question is, how to continue? How do you know when you should cut your losses or when you're just being a pansy? Help me focus Sebastian!
I know where you're at and I've got a number of thoughts.
First and foremost, did you see Miguel Hernandez's replied? I wrote "Passion Emerges From Action, Not Contemplation," I asked for Miguel's take because he's a sharp guy.
Well, the mission started off decently. This was one case in which I set a lofty goal and fell short, however I could have done significantly worse. My original plan called for a full week's worth of studying, that is with an undetermined break day (6 days reading and studying total). Life and laziness got in my way, however. Due to a combination of my ever-changing life here in Zhengzhou and a lack of motivation I did 4 days of reading in and 3 of vocabulary review. In each sitting I read 2-3 articles though, so I probably broke even as far as articles go.
The Week's Results
All in all, not a horrible week. This week's outcome indicates to me that I'm not going to start strong and fizzle out as I have a lot of improvement I can make. Let's break it down a little bit.
What Didn't Work Last Week: Marathon Media