I’m in the middle of facilitating the Life Design program, our seven day intensive program held here in Sydney. This morning as a sea of over 100 people took their seats I wondered to myself, how many of these programs have I taught and how many people have attended over the past 12 years? I think it is over 50 courses and thousands of people. That’s a lot of people committed to improving their lives.
Many of the graduates of our programs have wonderful successes both big and small. A whole big bunch of them also have outrageous successes, like quick, almost spooky-like serendipitous successes. Some are more like a cross country: paced out, timely with a consistent long stride gate about them. Call it being in the zone, the flow, creating, manifesting, achieving – there are a dozen or more names for it, but they have it and they are happier, healthier, wealthier, and more vibrant because of it.
Then there are people who walk away from our courses. They walk away from other courses too. They put down the book half way through or they buy a series of tickets to dance lessons, cooking classes, accounting classes, and they only go once. They proclaim that “they didn’t get anything out of it”. They feel resentful, as if they have been duped and had their money wasted on them. It’s a classic tale of the person who feels ripped off.
So what is the difference between the person who is pissed off and the person who excels? What is the difference between the person who feels they didn’t get anything out of a course, a book, or presentation, and the person who feels permanently changed in a powerful way and starts having very different results.
The difference is Applied Knowledge.
Einstein said that “information is not knowledge”, and it is true. Information is just information. What turns this information into knowledge, wisdom, and results is the application of this information into ones own life.
Whatever information I share with people in seminar rooms, coaching conferences or over a cup of tea is an exchange of information. It could be from something I read or heard, an experience that a client, friend, or family member had or it could be from the vaults of my own life experience. It is all information on offer for the other person to consider. I don’t want people to just believe me. In fact, I would be happy if they didn’t believe me at all, and instead decided to take the information and put it into action to see if it helps get them more of what they want out of life.
Francis Bacon stated that “knowledge is power” and then Dale Carnegie came along some centuries later and added a very powerful counter to this statement when he said “knowledge isn’t power until it is applied.”
I always start off the day at our Personal Success Intensive weekend with the statement; “an educated person is a person willing to entertain a new idea.” Considering how much we love to be entertained, I would think a new idea would give a person much food for thought and consideration. It is however, in the application of these ideas, that dreams are created instead of aspired to, that businesses are started instead of talked about, that golfing averages are improved. It is in the action that the results show up.
I was watching a documentary on the development of the LEM (Lunar Excursion Module), which was an absolute study in applying knowledge. The designers and developers had to make it up from nowhere. Never before had something like this been developed and the shopping list of requirements seemed to grow by the day.
They pooled vast amounts of information in the guise of science geeks, mathematicians, geographers, and piles of cardboard boxes, and they set to inventing something that had never been considered before. Why did they apply all their knowledge? Because there was a desired application for that knowledge; to land on the Moon. The information needed to be applied in a particular way and thus the invention of the LEM came about, with endless stuff ups, blow ups, crashes and malfunctions. It was a complete comedy of errors leading to an incredible result. The LEM even out-performed its original intended job description when it became a life raft for the crew of Apollo 13. Any space enthusiast would know a whole lot more about it than I do. The point is that nothing happens without application.
We are all our own experiment into what makes us happy and has us achieve our desired results. When we assume that we already know everything we will ever need to know, then how are we possibly able to improve on our situation. We can certainly look around at models of success and ways of thinking that lead to success, be inspired, motivated and instructed by people of wonderful influence. But if we are not willing to apply that information, then we do not get to have the same incredible results as those that we aspire to being like.
“You get out of a thing that which you put in” sited the great philosopher and teacher Aristotle. When people say that they didn’t get anything out of what I have taught them, I have to ask the question; what idea were they wiling to entertain? What did they put in and what did they apply?