Guess What – Knowledge Isn’t Everything!


I did it AGAIN! I know I have a reputation for being dangerous in the kitchen with knives, but I’ve managed to go quite a stretch without cutting myself. It’s true!

That “stretch” all came to a halt recently when I was blissfully chopping cilantro for the burritos I was making for dinner. Not only did I manage to cut my finger, I actually cut right through my finger nail through to my finger! Can you tell that my knives are SHARP?

Needless to say there was a delay to dinner!

In the past, there have been other crazy adventures that results in some pretty ugly wounds in the kitchen. There was the time I cut my finger to the bone with a butter knife – just so you don’t do the same thing, I encourage you not to try and separate frozen scones using a butter knife. And I have sliced myself good more than once with the lid of a tin can. I can’t even begin to count all the other less serious knife adventures I’ve inflicted on myself.

Here’s the thing – I know how you are supposed to use a knife! I know all about how to curl my fingers under so that it is impossible cut them. And you would think that after wounding myself sooo many times – I would actually practice that habit.

Lest you get too judgy… this whole adventure plays nicely into a concept I’ve been giving a lot of thought to lately. The idea of balancing learning with action.

Let’s face it, we live in an age where information is wildly abundant. It’s practically everywhere. There are email inboxes and magazine racks chock full of information. And if you are a book lover like me, your book shelves (or Kindle) are stuffed to the brims.

My mother-in-law recently went to the library to do some research only to discover that she was not able to find a single thing on the topic of interest. I’m old enough to remember how getting information did include a trek to the library and hunting through card catalogs and maybe even enlisting the help of a librarian in the process. Today with a few clicks of a keyboard, a wealth of information is at your fingertips. Maybe too much information!

Getting caught up in perpetual research often keeps you from actually implementing any of the amazing things you are discovering. And there can be so much discovered it’s hard to know where to begin!

If you are going to get where you want to be, it’s going to require action! There might be learning involved, but if you don’t take action I can guarantee that you won’t get where you want to be!

There are some very good reasons why you don’t take action! Can you relate to any of these?

  • Hunting and gathering information is safer.
  • Generating ideas is more fun.
  • Procrastinating ensures I don’t make a mistake or fail.
  • Too busy questioning whether or not you are “ready” to take action.
  • Unwilling to take action unless you can ensure you will do it perfectly.
  • Overly concerned with what other people will think.
  • Not 100% sure where things will go if I do take action.
  • Delightfully happy in your comfort zone!
  • Taking the first step – that’s terrifying!
  • Waiting for the right timing…and waiting… and waiting.
  • No idea where to begin.
  • Lacking the resources.
  • Too overwhelmed – I’m one incredibly BUSY person!

If you are honest, you probably relate to several of the reasons listed above – Maybe all of them at one time or another! I know I do. Here’s the deal – taking action is challenging. If it wasn’t challenging everyone would be doing it, right? But what if NOT taking action was actually the more reckless and dangerous choice?

Consider this…

  • Motivation follows action.
  • Action creates courage – the more action you take the braver you get!
  • Inaction – that’s actually pretty frightening! Maybe more frightening than taking action. Inaction begets inaction.
  • Action makes you humble. A chance to see you don’t know everything, and people are naturally attracted those who are humble.
  • Action takes you to new places in life and that actually unbelievably exciting!

So if you’ve been an information hoarder, how will you balance out all that knowledge with action? Which of these suggestions will help you ditch the quest for info and begin the adventure of action?

1. Fast

No not a food fast, but an information fast. A chance to take a break from things like web surfing, endless research, Facebook scrolling that leads to comparison and disappointment, or devouring the printed matter including the newspaper, books, magazine – and yes, Kindle etc. Remember, the idea is to balance out the incoming info with action. My guess is there is some catching up to do there!

2. Do something!

Even if you pick the less than best action to take, I am certain you will learn a little something that will make your next action more effective. What’s a small step you can take to get closer to where you want to be in your life or leadership? Something that will scooch you closer to your goals?

There’s tremendous power in fine tuning!

3. Face fear

The more you let fear chase you, the bigger it seems! Ignoring it does not make it go away and neither does trying harder. Isn’t it time you looked your Fear Monster in the eyes?

4. Clarify

What’s your vision or goal? Once you flesh that out, then work backwards. What are the daily action steps that need to take place in order for you to successfully make that vision a reality or for you to reach that goal? Struggle with this? That’s just one of the things a coach is equipped and ready to help you with!

5. Let go!

Help embrace that free feeling and allow yourself the space to fail, make mistakes, and experiment. Not only will you be taking action, but you will be learning some powerful things along the way. As long as you are being consistent and purposeful you’ll get where you want to be. If you continue to resist taking action, you’ll go nowhere.

You will also need to let go of your desire for comfort and familiarity.

6. Resist

Sometimes the most effective actions are to resist doing something. Resist watching TV. Fight the urge to indulge in sweets. Resist getting sucked into social media. You get the idea!

They say that knowledge is power. I beg to differ. Only knowledge WITH action is powerful. In fact, knowledge without action can be painful as I have demonstrated! Even making a plan is taking action!

What action do you need to take?

© Can Stock Photo / Sandralise

Marvae Eikanas

Marvae Eikanas is an author, entrepreneur, ICF certified coach, Career Direct Consultant, DISC consultant, and HBDI practitioner. She helps her coaching clients sharpen their skills, face their fears, eliminate funky mindsets, hone their habits, and cultivate clarity so they can THRIVE personally and professionally. Schedule a consultation with Marvae here.

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