Practice what you preach
In one of his talks, Robin Sharma says,
“Ideation without execution is nothing more than delusion.”
From my own experience, I can say that this is very true. During my years at university studying (business) psychology I’ve heard it so many times. Professors saying that “ideas are the currency of success and thinking drives the New Economy”. So I always thought that we become what we consider all day long. What we read, what we study, what we listen to. But, to me, ideation without execution is mere delusion. In other words, an idea – no matter how big – only assumes value when it’s acted upon and brought to life.
My own experience.
I was always working towards a happier and healthier life, but it just wouldn’t come. After graduating with a MSc. in Psychology, I went on to start a PhD in Switzerland. It was only then that I realized that I was teaching others all these great mindfulness tools without executing them myself. All of my accumulated knowledge without my own experience was just philosophy. After 6 months at University, I decided to quit my job and leave Switzerland. I decided that it was time for a massive change in my life, so I travelled to Bali and stayed there for 5 months.
It was the first time in my life I actually experienced what it feels like to practice what you preach and it felt so amazing!
I realized that without the experience of what I was talking about all this time, without executing my ideas, I was in a state of pure delusion. Without experience, there will never be true knowledge. You may think you know, but only with experience will you have anything more than grasping at an idea. I now know that knowledge without experience is useless unless we make connections between what we know and what we do. Sitting around reading books or watching talks of inspirational people (like I used to do) doesn’t take you anywhere unless you start to practice it on your own.
Practice > experience.
This conclusion is due to the fact that we all need experience and learn through trial and error, rather than just being given knowledge with no application. It is like learning to play an instrument without actually touching it. Someone with only the pure knowledge of how the instrument works would not have the physical capability to play it. Mastery only comes with practice. We need the ability to try, fail, and learn from our mistakes. I believe, and I now know, that practical knowledge is far superior to pure (intellectual) knowledge, because knowledge without any sort of experience or practice makes it difficult to apply in a real world setting.
My advice for you is to start to execute your ideas (I am talking from experience here). You may fail (and I failed for many times), but remember that no idea works unless you are ready to invest in the practice and do the work. Depth, duration and consistency are the key. I don’t believe that you become what you merely think about. What you want to do tomorrow, you have to practice today. Never foget that you are what you repeatedly do. I believe that you become what and who you practice to be. Repeat after me: “I BECOME WHO I PRACTICE TO BE.” I leave you with that, for now.
Thank you for reading.