Knowledge Without Action

This is something I have been thinking about a great deal these days. I am collector of knowledge and wisdom. I have a belief that if I fill my head with great ideas, and think realistically positive thoughts as much as possible, and carefully craft my speech, that my life will improve. And it has. But I am experiencing diminishing returns with this strategy.

I have been collecting knowledge and wisdom (i.e. reading excellent books and listening to audio programs a great deal), but I am realizing that my application has been lacking. That I have been, mostly, accumulating potential. There comes a time when more information, even more knowledge and wisdom is merely more. It is not all that beneficial. One must apply the bits that resonate.

One must apply the ideas and theories to real life — and see what works. And — egads! — even stumble and fall, and fail. Because, without experimentation and adaption, nothing is learned and nothing changes.

I searched for some quotes to illustrate my point, but didn’t find any that were perfect. But these are pretty good and I couldn’t not post them.

“Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.” – William James

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” – John F. Kennedy

“Action may not bring happiness but there is no happiness without action.” – William James

The moral of this post: I need to continue with my strategy of drinking in great ideas and studying the writings and lives of great thinkers and doers, and add to it an increase in action and application. To experiment more and learn, regardless of outcome. To understand my results and adapt— and grow. I encourage you to do the same.

Scroll to Top