“To know and not to do is really not to know.” – Stephen R. Covey
“Do as I say and not as I do,” is a statement most people cringe at. And most people would say that there is something inherently wrong with preaching a message and not living it out. In religious circles, that person would be called a hypocrite. In Washington DC, that person would be called a politician. And in a home, that person would be called a bad parent.
We have all heard the phrase “knowledge is power.” This is the idea that the more you know the more potential you have to grow, change, or do. I liken it to an electrical outlet. The power is available. All you have to do is plug into it to access it. Yet, in the end, that electricity isn’t power. Power is defined as energy that is used, transferred, or transformed. The energy available inside power lines connected to an outlet is not being used unless, well, plugged into and being used. And this is how I see knowledge. Knowledge is not power unless it is being used or applied. So I subscribe to the phrase, “Applied knowledge is power.” I believe that fits better here (I wrote briefly about this in a previous blog). I want to take this a step further though. Years ago, I had a man tell me the most potentially dangerous place to be on earth is in church. I was a bit shocked to hear him say that for he was an associate pastor. He followed up his incredulous statement by saying that if someone hears the truth, they are now accountable to live it out in their lives. For if they hear the truth they will now be judged accordingly for what they did or did not do with it. James 1:22 says that if we are hearers only and not doers we deceive ourselves. How many of us hear what we need to do in any given situation but fail to act upon that knowledge? Nearly every American knows what they should do when it comes to their health, but how many actually act upon it? There are people who have attended financial seminars because they wanted to learn how to be better with their money, but how many have actually implemented what was taught (assuming the right things were taught)? I was in my meditation room, AKA the shower, the other day and was thinking about this. Specifically, this phrase popped up in my brain, “It’s not enough to know what to do, you must do what you know.” When that phrase came to my mind I was rather proud. I was thinking, “Oh yeah, that’s a good quote. I’ll have to Twitter that one.” Then it hit me. Could I be deceived? For to know what to do and not to do it is not to know. And if I think I know but don’t do it which means I don’t know means I am deceiving myself. It’s as if the act of putting something on Twitter or Facebook or LinkedIn or other social media translates in our minds that we are actually doing what that quote says to do. And for me, in many cases, I wasn’t. Oh, I’d post some great quotes that made perfect sense, but was I applying the knowledge they contained in my life? Nope. At least not all of them. I was deceiving myself, and until that “Aha” moment comes, a deceived man does not know he is deceived. It’s time to change. It’s time to get outside my comfort zone. I have some aggressive goals in my business. And thankfully, LIFE Leadership teaches me exactly what I need to do to reach those goals. BUT, it will not be possible to achieve those goals without implementing the knowledge I have received. Therefore, in order to avoid being a hypocrite or deceived sage who pontificates from on high, telling others what to do and not doing it myself, I will not post another blog about leadership until I have reached a certain goal. I refuse to be a “do as I say and not as I do” leader (or better defined, manager). I choose to lead. I choose to apply that which I know. I choose to be a doer and not only a hearer. To know and not to do is not to know. So I am casting off the bow lines and headed out to sea. And I will not be heard from until I have reached my destination. Until then, be sure you do not fall into the deception of knowledge; reading, hearing, and learning without doing. I will see you in the harbor in a couple of weeks. Happy sailing!