How many TED talks have you listened to this month? How many insightful articles have you read in the last six months? Were you able to execute on what you learned, or did you simply put away the material and continue on as you normally do?
While it’s great to learn and have knowledge, true power comes from applying it. Knowledge isn’t power, execution is! But why is it that many of us aren’t able to apply what we see, hear or learn? Maybe because we consider it as entertainment, instead of education.
“A dream without a plan is just a dream. A dream with a plan may become a reality.”
-Hap Hagood, Artist
You can spend your entire life learning, strategizing or dreaming, or you can begin to apply what you learn on a daily basis. Eventually, the incremental execution on what you learn, strategize and dream about will amass to long term habits. This is where we need to be.
Being able to implement what you learn, at work, in your faith, in your community or within your family is what will change you and the world around you. We have to be real with ourselves and learn to improve on a scale that we can measure ourselves against.
Start the change process
Here are three steps to consider when you’re ready to execute on what you’re learning.
- Write it down.
- Be patient.
Reflection not only gives you time to yourself, its healthy for your mind. It starts with Simran, which is the process of being aware of our thoughts. When we do enough Simran, we’re then able to pick the thoughts that we want to take, and inversely, we’re able to tune out the thoughts that don’t serve us.
After doing Simran, take some time to think about the areas that you would like to improve or execute on. This will become much more clear when your mind is in a calm state.
ਪ੍ਰਭ ਕੈ ਸਿਮਰਨਿ ਮਨ ਕੀ ਮਲੁ ਜਾਇ ॥
In the remembrance of God, the filth of the mind is removed.
Write it down
Keep a journal. Make a point to write down what you plan on applying in your life and how. This could be something new, or maybe it’s something you need to revisit because you could have implemented it better.
Use an actual journal, or your phone, laptop – whatever is most comfortable for you.
For example, if you find an article with 10 amazing insights, write down the three that you think you can realistically apply in your life. Revisit that list on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. According to forbes.com, this is why it’s important to write things down: Neuroscience Explains Why You Need To Write Down Your Goals.
If we’re not patient with ourselves, then who will be? The world demands so much from us – don’t do yourself a disservice by setting unrealistic goals and sabotaging your own growth.
If you’re able to apply a small percentage of what you’ve learned each day, that will eventually build up to become habitual. Just don’t give up, and keep moving forward. Studies show that it can take longer than the typical 21 days to change a habit: Stop Expecting to Change Your Habit in 21 Days.
Changing your emotional, attitudinal or behavioural habits that have been forged over the years will take time, but it’s possible. Be sure to to reflect, write it down and be patient.
Remember that knowledge isn’t power, execution is!