Regardless of how much Books we read, how many videos we watch, how many instructions we follow, how often we recite philosophies and how frequently we analyze techniques, without putting into practice what we feel we know, our moments spent were not used to make any progress. Instead we choose to consume facts and opinions, never determining their true value in an applied manner.
But so what? There can be no damage done here, right? Or is that the damage we seemed to avoid, has already overcome us?
Having the know-how is the complete opposite of applying what we learnt. These are two opposite ends of the spectrum.
In matters of careers, we can accumulate all the years of study and professional designations we like, but this does not mean we will perform at a superior level compared to another worthwhile candidate. It most often does not even guarantee us a position in the field we desire, if it does, we may experience underemployment.
In matters of fitness, we may have an advanced understanding of all the intricacies of the human body, be well versed in biomechanics and muscle development, yet may not have the physique of an athlete nor the skills of one. Even our eating habits may go against our better judgement and contradict what we recommend to others.
In matters of the heart, among the most important, we may have all the inspiration from poets and movies, all the romantic ideas and all the ideal date settings, needed to impress that special someone, yet we remain searching for our ideal partner. We may also become somewhat resentful because our efforts and all our supposed understanding of the heart, leads us to underwhelming results.
To have the dream career we envision, to be in the best shape we desire and to have that never ending dance of true romance with our ideal partner, no amount of analysis will get us closer to these goals, because analysis is removed from acting! To analyze, we usually take a step back and assess, many times introspectively. To apply, we throw ourselves into the perceived chaos. Out of the two, only one results in bringing us closer to our desired outcome.
The latter may seem harder, and yet it is the one which can bring us an understanding much deeper than all the passive study. However, the step usually forgotten is the synthesis of the two approaches. The passive with the active. The observation with the application. The yin with the yang.
Knowing that there is a time for study is just as important as knowing there is a time for implementation. When we spend our precious moments only concerned with one of the two approaches, we remove ourselves from our natural state of balance.
As a ballet or symphony is composed and carried out in unison, so too must our understandings and efforts be. In a ballet any dancer out of synch with the performance, can be clearly seen. This even has the effect of removing the audience from the immersive experience they came to enjoy. The musician whose instrument is out of tune or off key from their peers, deteriorates the experience of a beautiful piece of music. This too may be troubling for a listener because their focus becomes attracted to something off, it’s recognized instantly, even on levels we may be unaware of.
This sudden jolt removes us from the immersive experience because, instead of the soothing feelings once part of us, triggered by the performance, we abruptly identify with a state of unbalance.
This same identification with displeasure can happen to us if we frequently choose to live from one approach. The damage we wanted to avoid, may have become part of us and with each lackluster result we witness, the deeper we may dive into the singular approach which brought us the very results we despised.
The secret is this, know that when an obstacle emerges, halting our progress, it pops up so that we may change our approach. As quickly as our approach is changed, is as quickly as that obstacle will become laughable.
Know when to doge and when to strike. Know when to speak and when to listen. Know when to stop and when to move. Know when to advance and when to retreat. Be aware of the time to hold on and the time to let go. Be aware of the time to crawl and the time to fly. Remember when you should read and when you should close the book and experience your adventure.
Is it your moment to read or your moment to rewrite your destiny?
Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe