It’s good to constantly walk on the path of self-education, to read and gather priceless insights and gems of wisdom along the way that help us design a good life for ourselves and become better versions of ourselves. But learning is just one part of the equation. There comes a point where we have to set our books and journals aside, and get to the field and take action.
We must be both scholars and soldiers, wisdom-seekers and warriors in this epic rollercoaster journey of life. To win in work and in life, we have to pay equal attention to books and the battlefield.
Knowledge is potential power, and we can only tap into it by taking action. As Darren Hardy points out, “Learning without execution is useless… Motivation without action leads to self-delusion.”
As much as you are tempted to cozy up and pick another book to read, first ask yourself if you have implemented your new learnings. As Seneca instructs, you have to ensure that the “words become works.”
Today, don’t plan a trip to the self-help section of your favorite bookstore or library, or spend any time browsing for new books on Amazon. Instead, devise a plan of action based on your current insights.
Having head knowledge is not good enough; you have to take charge of your choices and behaviors as well.
Start practicing minimalism and intentionality in learning. You don’t need another book, you just need a personal philosophy that helps you make right choices and propels you to take consistent actions that align with your mission and your sacred duty.
As Marcus Aurelius wrote, “Stop wandering about! You aren’t likely to read your own notebooks, or ancient histories, or the anthologies you’ve collected to enjoy in your old age. Get busy with life’s purpose, toss aside empty hopes, get active in your own rescue—if you care for yourself at all—and do it while you can.”