Knowledge is not power…it’s potential power. Execution will trump knowledge any day. – Tony Robbins
What does that mean?
I truly love this quote. How many people have you seen, sitting there doing something they KNOW they shouldn’t be doing, but do it anyway?
Even worse is when they see you looking at them, and they say that they know it’s not good for them and they shouldn’t be doing it, but then keep right on doing it? Smokers, I’m looking at you. I only pick on you because I care.
Now think of all the people who didn’t know what they were doing, but managed to get things accomplished anyway. What did Thomas Edison know about light bulbs? But he executed, over and over and over, until he found the solution. Then he knew.
That is the point of the quote. We don’t always know the way to do something. But by doing, we learn. If we don’t do, what we know is nothing more than a library book locked in our head. And that just doesn’t get things done, now does it?
Why is doing things important?
No matter how smart we are or how much we know, if we don’t do something about it, we’re going to be pretty useless. Yes, passing the knowledge on to someone else is doing something, it’s called teaching. However, knowing what to do in an emergency and doing it are two different things.
If you know first aid, but don’t help an injured person, you aren’t very useful. If you don’t know first aid, but can stop the bleeding or call emergency services to get an ambulance on the way, you have been a much greater help, right?
What happens if we don’t do something? Either it never happens, or someone else gets a shot at it instead of us. If something is for sale, and we know it is worth more than it is selling for, but we do nothing, someone else will get to it eventually, right?
Execution, or doing, is the opposite of procrastination, which is the lack of action. No matter how knowledgeable we may be about something, if we don’t do anything, how useful is the knowledge? We may feel better about ourselves, but what does it do for anyone else?
Where can I apply this in my life?
I imagine that most of us know something, and want to do something about it. Whether it’s cooking, painting, gardening, playing games, or doing something at work or play, if we don’t do it, how will it get done? Furthermore, how will anyone know that we can do it?
What does you neighbor know about any particular topic? What about your friends or co-workers? If you know them fairly well, you may know some of their fields of expertise, or what their knowledge actually is. But how many of them have actually done something with that knowledge?
There are a lot of things about which I have gathered a lot of knowledge over the years. At one point in time, I knew a lot about cameras and astronomy. My cameras gather dust, as does my telescope. My knowledge is present, but my execution, my action is absent.
When I was in college, there was a girl I wanted to ask to a dance. I went to the dorm where the girl was staying. We got to talking and walking across campus. Before I got around to asking her to the dance, someone else walked up and asked her to the dance. I knew what needed to be done, but I didn’t do it. Someone else got there first.
What ideas or thoughts do you have about knowledge you possess? What action are you going to take regarding that action? Take a moment to think about that. Not everything you know needs to be done. I know how to pick a lock from my days of disassembling anything on which I could lay my hands.
What of these things are you sufficiently interested in to actually go out and do something? Perhaps it’s something you used to do, but haven’t in a long time. What might get you to start doing it again? Even if it’s at a slightly lower energy level or shorter in duration, are you willing to do it?
What about other knowledge you have? Could any of it be the basis of a hobby or even a business? Perhaps something craft related, not necessarily a replace-your-day-job thing, but a way to earn a little extra money or express yourself in a creative manner?
Knowledge is great. But unless you put it to use, what good is it really?
- Knowledge (sjfboyer.wordpress.com)
- Experiential knowledge trumps Google knowledge (donmartinwhande.wordpress.com)
- Accumulated Knowledge (megganmiller.wordpress.com)
- Reflection, Similarities, Speculation on Plato vs Helen Keller (adifferentperspective1.wordpress.com)