Understanding Versus Applying
What separates humans from the rest of the animal kingdom? After all, we are 65-95% the same genetically as most other creatures. Almost everything you can find in a human you can also find in a pig, or monkey. The answer here is obvious. What separates humankind from the rest of the animals on Earth is our mind. We use our mind to gather and process information and then pass that information along in the form of stories. Today, the world of information is literally at your fingertips. You can find out almost anything you wish. Learning has never been easier. So, why are there so many problems that exist even in the 21st century? With so much information on health, wealth, spirituality, science and endless other subjects, why are people still overweight? Why do so many struggle with finances and negative emotions? Similar problems have been solved and recorded by countless others. Their stories are easily accessible. Yet, humans are constantly plagued with recurring, solvable problems. I would content that most even understand how to solve their problems. So why do people still suffer?
I believe a major problem today is that people intellectually understand certain principles but don’t actively work towards applying them. It is one thing to understand a principle. It’s quite another to embody it. Lets just take the subject of health. So much information exists on how to prevent obesity, disease and immobility that a person with internet access who lives in civilization would have a hard time try to avoid such information. Endless articles on exercise and diet exist and the basic principles for healthy eating and proper movement and exercise are not new. I would argue most people who suffer from these health issues even know intellectually what they could do to fix them. Why do you think so many millions make New Year’s Resolutions to “go to the gym” or “stop eating sugar?” They know what to do! They understand it. The problem is they don’t apply the principles by taking massive action and building habits that benefit them.
Actions are important- maybe the most important thing in life because they can create habits. The word habit has a negative connotation. Most people think of bad habits when they hear the term. But habits are just actions that you repeat on a regular basis even if you are unaware of them. Do you drink everyday to unwind? That’s a habit. Do you yell at everyone around because you find those people incompetent? That’s a habit. You see, habits are actions we return to regularly because it serves some need we believe we have. Some drink, smoke, complain, overeat, blow their money shopping, lay on the couch, watch TV, spend all day on Facebook. Instead of letting negative habits control us, we can take principles and information and use action to implement habits that serve us. I believe people inherently know what is good and bad for them. The difference between those who suffer with solvable problems and those who rise above them is intelligent action. Education is not enough. You must take action with the education. Understanding something is not enough. You must embody it.
Don’t just understand something. That’s not enough. Don’t just say ” I get it”. If you come across information that is useful to you, apply the principles by taking MASSIVE action. Not just a little action. Not “oh, that’s a good idea, I should probably do that.” Take massive action and thrive. Build habits and rituals that serve you, not defeat you.