November 5, 2017

Knowing vs. Doing


In 1999 the book "The Knowing - Doing Gap" was published, and in one of the great wasted efforts of writing/publishing, we already knew about the gap, and we continued to do nothing about it, as usual.

Here's the idea, in its earliest known form, by Confucius (551-479 BC):

I hear, and I forget.
I see, and I remember.
I do, and I understand.

The problem is that we simply do not DO what we know to be true. 

Changing our behavior is the Holy Grail of creating a successful life and business. It is so rare that behavior change actually happens that it seems almost non-existent, in fact it seems impossible to almost everyone except the few who find their way to it.

We are the way we are because our actions (our DOing) has created ourselves to be that way. Nothing happens in the universe except by some Action. A body at rest will stay at rest unless acted upon by some outside force; a body in motion will stay in motion unless acted upon by some outside force. This is Newton's First Law, and it applies to everything in the universe, including you and me.

A couple of hundred years later, Aristotle (384-322 BC) was clear about this:

We are what we repeatedly DO.
Excellence then is not an act, but a habit.

It's all about DOing, and the continual DOing. If we want a result, we must Do the actions that will produce the result. This is the Scientific Method. Cause and Effect. It is a universal truth. 

We have known this for thousands of years, and yet we ignore this great truth.

Why?

Behavior change is hard. Changing habits is hard. It is our human nature that we seek our comfort zone. We are lazy. We take the path of least resistance. We like instant gratification. So, basically, we will not change unless we are forced to change by some external force that is stronger than our desire for comfort, stronger than our fear of the unknown. Good luck with that, right? 

It may take a major negative event to create the positive energy to commit to change. In my case, it was personal bankruptcy. It was the final devastation that left me with the knowledge that I just absolutely must change my life, total commitment was needed to find my way back to success. You might even say that bankruptcy was the best thing that happened to me to get me back on the right path, and stay on that path until success was achieved. 

Can you do it? Yes.
Will you do it? Probably not. 

Just writing those words is a painful admission. And yet I prefer to focus on working with the few who will DO what is needed to achieve their goals in Life and Business. Unfortunately, in order to find the few, many others waste their time and mine. But without working with the many, the few can not be found. If you think you are one of the few, call me! I want to help.

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Resources:


The Knowing - Doing Gap (online book, free)

What Got You Here Won't Get You There (book by Marshall Goldsmith, amazon)