I know – two of the most dangerous words in the English language

“I know.”

How many times have we heard people say this only to find out later that they didn’t?

Growing up in Asia, due to the language barrier, I often found myself in situations that led to major misunderstandings.

People would say, “Yes” or  “I know” when they really should have been saying, “I have no clue what you’re talking about.”

I must admit I’ve been guilty of this at times and I’m sure you’ve caught yourself every now and then nodding in agreement when you really aren’t sure what’s going on. We all do.

But the “I know” I’m here to talk about today isn’t that one. It’s the one we use when we really do understand.

The “I know” we use when people offer advice to us.

And most of the time, I know they know.

But here’s the problem. “I know” does not mean “I do.”

The difference is like night and day.

One is linked to knowledge. The other requires both the knowledge and the subsequent action based upon that knowledge.

The power is in the doing, not in the knowing.

One simply has to look at the world today and realize that knowledge does not equal success because the Internet gives us unlimited access to practically any topic under the sun. Yet many people are struggling financially, divorce is up, the economy is haywire and the list goes on and on.

Knowledge is not the issue.

The problem is two fold.

Part 1 – we know that the information is out there…so our first order of business is getting it. That requires time, patience and a little effort.

It’s VERY doable.

And yet, there are many people who simply can’t be bothered to.

Why not?

Who knows…I’ve given up trying to figure out why people do what they do. I just focus on things I can control. In other words – me.

Part 2 can only be done after part 1 has been completed.

Once we have the knowledge firmly in our hands, if order for it to have any effect in our lives, we must then apply it.

It’s the application that has the potential to change our lives.

A good analogy of this is medicine.

Say you go to a doctor.

You tell them what’s wrong and then they give you the once over.

They come to a conclusion and prescribe some medicine.

Now, for argument sake, let’s say the medicine has absolutely no side effects. And it will cure your condition 100%.

The question is this – will you get better?

No, it’s not a trick question.

The correct answer is “It depends.” On what?

Good question. Quite simply this – whether or not you take the medicine.

After all, what good is medicine that sits on the table?

The medicine can only work if we take it.

That’s when it begins to take effect.

And the same is true in life. Information is powerful, just like medicine. And like medicine, it is also dangerous which is why we should be careful what information we choose to follow.

But no medicine or information will work, no matter how good it may be…if we don’t use it.

Information unused is like medicine still in its package. It’s potential power. It’s simply waiting to be used.

This is one of the key elements of success – action.

As Jim Rohn says, “There can be no new life without labor.”

Ideas, like children, come into being through labor. Not chance. Not thinking…action.

So the next time you are in a position to learn something new, do yourself a favor, listen, really listen.

It’s amazing how much people are willing to share with you, and how much you’ll learn, if you stay humble and listen.

Adrian Shepherd

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