Stop Thinking and Start Doing: The Power of Practicing More.
We all have objectives we wish to accomplish in life. These objectives can be to learn a new language, eat better and lose weight, become a better parent, save more money, and so on.
This might seem a little exaggerated. Many people have set life goals. To achieve these goals, it is important to actually do it. Goals become illusionary if a person only thinks about doing things but does not actually do them.
Rarely has someone received a college degree simply by thinking about college? You must attend college if you want to earn a college degree. But, you must first think about going to college.
Paul Tiongson says that “before you can begin doing anything, you must first believe ‘the doing into reality.'” This is done by becoming conscious of what you are intending to do. When the act of thinking triggers an electrical pulse in the microtubules of the brain responsible for controlling consciousness, you become conscious.
Thinking is a complex brain process called Organized Objective Reduction – Orch OR. It causes our consciousness to convert potential into physical reality, where potential becomes fleshed out and given substance. One or more of our five senses can perceive this as sensory information. This sensory information is processed by our brains, which tell us whether to do something or not.
It is important to think it through before you can actually do it. Paul Tiongson says that “unfortunately”, when potential becomes the reality of sensory data through the process of thought, too many people have trained their brains not to respond to that sensory information with an action command, simply because they are hard-wired to be inactive.
Paul continued, “it’s at this juncture that the saying “Stop Thinking and Start Doing” becomes relevant.
Life is not always easy. However, there is one thing that can be guaranteed in life. If you don’t act, there won’t be any outcome. You will never achieve your goal.
It is easy to think that the gap between your current situation and the future you desire can be attributed to a lack of knowledge. We buy courses that teach us how to start a business, how to lose weight quickly, and how to learn a foreign language in three months. If we had better strategies, we’d get better results. A new result requires new knowledge.
However, I am realizing that new knowledge doesn’t always lead to new results. If your goal is to progress, and not just gain more knowledge, then learning something new could be a waste.
It all boils down to the difference between learning and practicing.
In This Article
What is the difference between learning and practicing?
He explains the difference between learning and practicing in The Practicing Mind by Thomas Sterner.
“When we practice something, it is a deliberate repetition of a process with an intention to reach a particular goal.” These words, em, are crucial because they distinguish between actively learning something and passively practicing it em>
–Thomas Sterner from The Practicing Mind
Although they may appear very similar, learning something new and practicing it can produce profoundly different results. These are just a few ways to look at the differences.
- Let’s assume you want to become stronger and fitter. However, the only way to increase strength is to lift weights.
- Let’s assume your goal is to grow your company. However, you can only learn how to pitch a sale but it is essential to actually make sales calls.
- Let’s assume your goal is to publish a book. But, the only way you can improve as a writer is to keep practicing publishing.
Learning passively creates knowledge. Active practice creates skill.
Let’s look at three other reasons why the active practice should be prioritized over passive learning.
Passive learning can be a crutch that supports inaction
Learning can be used to put off pursuing the goals and interests we hold dear. Let’s take, for example, the desire to learn a foreign tongue. You can feel like you’re making progress by reading a book about learning a foreign language quickly. You’re not actually doing the thing that will deliver the desired outcome (speaking the language).
We often make the mistake of claiming that we are researching or preparing the best method in situations like these. However, these rationalizations can allow us to believe we are moving forward even though we are only spinning our wheels. We make the mistake of being in motion instead of taking action. Learning is useful until it becomes fa orm of procrastination.
Practice Is Learning, But Learning Is Not Practice
Passive learning is not practice. Although you may gain new knowledge, it does not allow you to learn how to apply it. Active practice is, however, one of the best forms of learning. The mistakes you make during practice reveal valuable insights.
More importantly, you can only make meaningful contributions to your knowledge through practice. It doesn’t matter if you watch an online course on how to start a business, or read about the devastating effects of a disaster in a developing country. But that knowledge will not be useful unless your company is actually launched or you give back to those in need. While learning can be beneficial for you, it is not enough to make your knowledge useful to others.
Your energy is focused on the process when you practice
“Progress can be a natural outcome of remaining focused on the process for doing anything.”
–Thomas Sterner from The Practicing Mind
Your current state of life is directly related to the beliefs and habits you are forming each day. Constant improvement will become possible when you recognize this and shift your attention to practicing better habits every day. Our results are not determined by the dreams or the things we learn, but by the habits, we have each day. “Knowledge Doubling curve.” Knowledge was increasing by 25% every 25 years at the end of World War II. According to IBM the “Internet of Things”, human knowledge will double every 13 months.
Many nations have benefited from the exponential growth of global knowledge and their citizens are enjoying unimaginable wealth. This knowledge explosion is not affecting the prosperity of citizens from other countries. According to U.S. data, the median household income in the United States of $52,250 in 2013 was 8.3 percent lower than the $57,000.06 median HH income in 2007. Census Bureau.
Despite all the knowledge we have, America seems to be lacking in a balance between growing our wealth and using that knowledge. This could be due to the fact that all of this knowledge can be put to good use. This could be attributed to Americans being too hardwired to do anything.
Passive Learning vs. Action Learning
Both academics and pundits love to make the distinction between active learning and passive. Passive learning is about the pursuit of knowledge. Passive learning is often the biggest reason for not doing anything. You can’t learn how to start a business by reading a book. It doesn’t make you an entrepreneur. You must get out there and start your business. Passive learning refers to the acquisition of knowledge that does not have a tangible impact on your life. Passive learning will not take you to where you want to go.
Learning by doing is the process of applying knowledge, theories, and experiences in real life. It is about continually and consistently practicing what you have learned – fine-tuning it.
Action learning is superior to passive learning if you are looking to improve your life and personal wealth. Action learning:
- Inspiration – It will give you those “aha moments”, of understanding, realization, and profound insight
- Informs You can tell what doesn’t work based on your practical experience
- Removes distractions – This forces you to forget about all the noises and background noises of modern society so that you can focus on what is happening right now
- It builds confidence
- It broadens your view – This encourages you to explore other options to achieve your desired outcome
- You’re a genius to others – After you have mastered a skill through doing, you can teach it to others.
How to get into the Game
People are naturally hungry for knowledge. Knowledge alone does not make you a winner in the game of life. You must play the game to win the game. The key to winning the game is practice, practice, and more practice. Learning by doing is the best way to learn. Your successes build confidence, while your failures teach you wisdom.
The bottom line
Is passive learning useless? No. Learning for the sake of learning can often be a wonderful thing. Not to mention the fact that learning new information can help to make better decisions once you take action.
Nevertheless, this article demonstrates that learning alone does not guarantee progress. Learning can be used to hide behind information or delay making the difficult and more important decision of doing something. Learn less passively and practice more. Get out of the habit of thinking and get on with it.
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