We’ve all heard the saying that “talk is cheap.” In fact we’ve heard it so often it’s become a cliché. Like most cliché’s the law of familiarity has set in and keeps us from actually absorbing the true meaning of the phrase. We’ve grown so tired of hearing it that we don’t really listen to it anymore. The fact remains that talk is cheap. It is easy to talk about things and most people do. In fact most people “talk a great game” on a regular basis. The difference in people, however, is not in what they say they will do but in what they actually do.
We don’t really judge people by what they say but rather by what they do. We judge people by their behaviour and by their actions. The reason for this is that deep down inside we all know that words have no real power to create anything in itself. It is only when the words are backed up by action that you have the power to create any real results. The ironic thing is that although most of us know this we get caught up in accumulating knowledge. We learn something and get really interested in the results we think the information can produce for us. In pursuing the results, we often confuse it with getting more information so we end up gathering and accumulation tons of information and knowledge without producing the result we wanted in the first place.
The proper fruit of knowledge is action. It is true that gaining knowledge can make us feel more capable but knowledge in itself will not produce the results we really desire. One of the biggest myths that is prevalent in the information age is the notion that knowledge is power. Knowledge is not power. It is only potential power. What you do with what you know is where the real power is. The difference in people comes in what they have done differently from someone else with the same information. The reality of the world we live in is that information on almost anything is freely available to anyone, quite literally at the push of a button.
Even though you have all the information at your fingertips, still, the most valuable resource you have to create results in your life is your ability to take action. An action always produces a result. When you take action you bring an idea into effect and you use your will to do something to achieve a specific purpose. When you do this you actually create in the true sense of the word as you turn an idea into reality; you express something that was internal on the outside. Every action is a cause set in motion and for every cause there is an effect and it is the effects or results that we are all really interested in. You don’t want to know that you can be wealthy. You want to experience it by seeing and touching it and the real satisfaction comes from turning your ideas into reality.
There is a big difference between knowing what to do and doing what you know. Most people know what to do to be able to make their lives work but knowing just isn’t enough – we must act and use what we know. Something intangible happens when you take action on an idea. You set in motion a series of events, events that you don’t always know the full consequences of. Like throwing a stone in a pond, the ripple effect of the water affects the whole pond and moves everything that is in or on the pond. This illustrates how a single action can have a significant impact even if you aren’t always aware of it. On a more practical and tangible level you start getting feedback from your actions and you learn things that you can only learn as a result of your actions. These are things you simply cannot learn from merely listening to others or reading books.
Think of your knowledge and ideas as an elastic band. It has the ability to be stretched, but until and unless you stretch it you are not using it for its real purpose. Information is usually something external. When you learn it you transform it into knowledge and when you act on it, it becomes part of your life. To truly experience anything in life you must take action. Knowing simply isn’t enough. We all want to feel and this only comes from engaging “all of you” – by engaging all of your senses to experience the fullness of life in all its abundance.
It doesn’t take many ideas to change something in your life. Neither does it take a complicated idea. It takes ideas that you can use and act upon to give you what you really want. Rarely is it the information or ideas that you really want as it is almost always only the means to an end. What you truly want is results and this will only come from using what you know. Don’t get caught in the flood of information and knowledge. Start to focus your mind on action and on applying ideas instead of accumulating them. Slowly feed yourself more information and knowledge, but let your actions be your ultimate guide. After all it is not what you say you will do but what you actually do that will determine the quality of your life and what you achieve or fail to achieve.
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Deon Du Plessis is the creator of A Course of Action, a FREE e-Course designed to empower you to break through your limitations, Take Action and transform your ideas into reality. Visit The Self Improvement Gym for more self improvement and personal development insights and resources.