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I love learning.
Just last week I published “Never Stop Learning: 40 Places to Get Free Education Online“.
I’m a college student. I read daily. I’m taking a course at Codecademy. I’m constantly involved in military education.
Obviously, I’m a big fan of continued education.
The problem is when we let the process trump the outcome.
Getting it right isn’t as important as getting started.
I’m going to be straight-forward with you and it might even sound like I’m being hard on you, but here’s the deal:
- I waited longer than I should have to join the military because I would rather just talk about doing it.
- I got out of shape because I was constantly searching for the best routine instead of getting started.
- I missed out on compound interest for years because I wanted to know everything about investing first.
- I waited 5 years (after I initially wanted to) to start a blog because I wanted to “know everything” first.
I’ve been there. I’ve seen the damage that can be caused by learning instead of acting. Now let me show you what I mean.
How This Applies To…
- Business – You’ve had an amazing idea for years. You want to start a business, a blog, a website, but you want everything to be perfect first. Well, you’re probably not going to have more time or resources later and if it doesn’t work out, wouldn’t you rather figure out sooner rather than later?
- Exercise – Perhaps you’re looking for the perfect routine. You can’t decide if you want to focus more on weight lifting or cardiovascular training…and once you decide, what should you lift? How far should you run? Keep doing your research, but go do something – anything. A year from now, who will be in better shape, the expert in nutrition who spends all day reading but never putting it into practice or the person who decides to do some simple pushups and sit-ups everyday? Knowledge doesn’t just translate over into your physical body. Start doing something until you figure out the perfect routine. Trial and error is better than never even having the trial.
- Life Decisions – Maybe you’re considering moving to a new city or starting a new job. Research is important and necessary, but how much research are you going to do? How many years have you been talking about this? There are some things you simply won’t know until you make the move or start the job, or both. Do you really want this life change or do you just like to talk about it?
- Money – Have you started investing yet? Can’t decide between real estate, individual stocks, mutual funds or precious metals? Just do something. If you want to play it safe, start with an index fund. If you’re a risk taker, buy an individual stock – just one. Have you started aggressively paying off your credit card debt? Stop searching for the best plan and start paying extra each month. Stop talking about it and actually start doing it.
- Productivity – Who doesn’t like to read articles and books on becoming more productive? I certainly do. But are you spending more time reading and learning than you are putting the ideas into practice. Honestly, if you read one really good productivity book and actually implement every single thing you learn, you’ll be leaps and bounds ahead of the average people who are still stuck in learning mode.
It wouldn’t make sense for this article to be much longer. So now I have a challenge for you.
The next time-slot you have allocated for learning (reading, watching educational videos, etc.), use that time to go take action on what you’re learning about. Do something. Do some pushups, write a business plan…something.
And of course, share your results in the comments!