When you want to do anything in life, there’s a good chance in today’s day and age that someone has made a YouTube video or written a tutorial about how to do it.

There is no shortage of available information for us to digest today.

In fact, we have so much information that we often suffer from information overwhelm.

Book Learning vs. The “Real” world

When you’re starting anything new, you’re a student of the new thing you’re working on.

Whether you want to be a beekeeper, learn how to water ski, or hike the Appalachian trail, you will probably benefit from taking a class, watching a video, or reading a book.

And as a student of your new interest or goal, you can learn a great deal in the classroom, from a book, or from someone else’s knowledge. However, at some point, your learning has to become practice. And there’s really no substitute for getting out of the books and into the “real world” of getting your physical person involved in working on doing the thing (whatever it may be for you).

Doing The “Practice” is Easier than Ever

In the past, only the truly wealthy could afford the time and costs necessary to pursue their interests in person. For example, during the 18th century, English aristocrats went on something called the “Grand Tour of Europe”, and this was usually done to put into practice in the real world, and further the learning that they did during their time spent in university studies.

So, which is more important? Theory, or practice

Both theory and practice are important.

  • Avoid getting so hung up in the theory that you forget to go out and actually do the practice.
  • Also, avoid becoming scared by the theory, because the theory can be overwhelming, where you’ll learn more in just an hour of being “on the trail” of whatever you’re doing vs studying it in a book.

Getting into reading and talking about the things you want to do in life is great.
However, if you just talk about it, and continue just learning about it without actually DOING the work it takes to do what you want to do, then the thing you want to do can begin to turn into a kind of “someday, maybe” kind of goal.

And unless you take some action on putting it into practice, then over time, it can turn into a should have, would have, could have kind of a thing.

Jump In the Pool

At some point, you have to actually jump in the pool and figure out how to swim. Reading about it in a book is great. Watching a bunch of YouTube videos to get different perspectives is also great.

And at some point, you have to just get into the thing you’re wanting to do, and learn by doing. At some point though, the more you stay stuck in your mind and your thoughts (regarding whatever the goal might be), the further away the goal seems to move into the future and/or away from you.

There is power in just starting.

One famous quote about doing the thing comes from Emerson, who is quoted with having said:  “Do the thing and you will have the power.”

John Anster’s translation of a famous line from Goethe’s Faust is:

What you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.
Only engage, and then the mind grows heated—
Begin it, and the work will be completed!

Another famous quote says:
“In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is.”

Will your hips hurt if you go out on the Appalachian Trail? Maybe.

If you want to hike the whole trail, maybe you should try a weekend on the trail and see for yourself.

Misti Burmeister has been helping leaders boost engagement and productivity across generations for nearly two decades. Help your team reach its highest potential at https://MistiBurmeister.com