Path to Success: Study and Apply What You Learn
If you know anything about me, you know I’m passionate about the power of continuous learning. It is the most important thing you can do to accelerate your path to success. But in order to be successful, you can’t just acquire the knowledge and not do anything with it. You have to apply what you learn in your personal and professional lives.
“Do the thing, and you shall have the power.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Sure, you can learn everything you can about a particular topic, but if you don’t apply that knowledge in real life, you’re not going to really achieve what you set out to learn in the first place. For example, you could learn how to get more clients from reading a book or taking a workshop, but you have to actually DO SOMETHING – like make sales calls, send emails to potential customers or attend networking events – to get a sale. You can’t just wait and hope someone will come to you and want to buy what you’re selling. (Granted, that does happen sometimes, but if you want your business to really be successful, you have to DO MORE.)
There’s a Chinese proverb that says, “The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.” What that means is, you can’t make the journey just by learning everything there is to know about the journey. You have to actually take that first step on the journey.
We’ve all seen a baby learning to walk. First, the baby watches others crawling and walking. Then the baby starts rocking back and forth on all fours. Then the baby makes that first crawling motion, and pretty soon, he’s on the move, getting into everything. Then the baby learns to stand, holding on to furniture or someone’s hand. Finally, the baby takes his first step. That step turns into a few steps, and the next thing you know, the baby is off and running.
Everything you learn in life is like when you learned to crawl and walk. You gather the knowledge by observing and/or reading. Then you apply that knowledge by doing the actions you learned.
“Knowledge without practice is useless. And practice without knowledge is dangerous.” – Confucius
Sure, you can learn things for the sake of knowledge but when you put that knowledge into practice that’s when it becomes USEFUL knowledge. And you can try to do things without learning what you need to know first – but you may end up hurting yourself or others in the process. That’s why we really learn best by studying and then doing. The two things work best together.
Therefore, I challenge you the next time you read a self-improvement or business-related book, watch a webinar or attend a workshop to take one thing you’ve learned and apply it in your real life. Better yet, consider a Mastermind Group. Not only do you learn and grow there, you are held accountable, too. That gets the doing part of the equation moving. The outcome will provide you with a frame of reference that you can learn from and improve upon. Then you can learn more and take new actions. And as you keep repeating this process, you’ll eventually master what you set out to learn – which is what the path to success is all about.
To your success!