Friday, July 15, 2011

Know, Understand, Act

There's a simple concept, a triad, that explains how you should go about learning something.

Law #67: Know, Understand, Act.

Know - To know something is to read about it. This is the step where you go on YouTube and look up how to cook mussels. This is the step where you read a blog post on how to lead a better life by eliminating unnecessary ailments and limiting beliefs. This is when you absorb purely objective knowledge.

This is the weakest form of knowledge. A textbook awareness.

(I.E. A guy who reads 100 posts on how to pick up girls).

Understand - To understand something is to make it your own. This is where you make mental decisions as to how the blog post on life effects you. This is where you decide how you will cook the recipe, perhaps altering some things to fit your style. This is where you take objective knowledge and make it subjective -- this is where you make it personally relevant.

This is the second strongest form of knowledge. A mental clarity.

(I.E. A guy who reads 100 posts on how to pick up girls and compares his own behavior against what he is learning. He may even approach, but he will be absorbed in thought).

Act - This is where you physically experience something. This is when you cook the dish. This is when you approach that cute artsy girl sitting at a table across from you at Starbucks. This is when you take subjective knowledge and apply it.

This is mastery. This is when you no longer have to think to act. A physical knowledge, your body 'knows' how to behave.

Muscle memory is a good way to describe this. For those who play instruments, you know how easy it is to play your favorite riffs over and over. For those who type on the computer, you know how easy it is to press the correct keys without looking.

When you master an idea, some information, you no longer need to think about it. It just happens.

(I.E. A guy who approaches a girl and manages to not stay in his head. He enjoys the experience, yet acts accordingly to the principles he has learned. He usually succeeds).

Note: The divisions between these three steps are blurred of course. One can begin to understand while acting. You might read something and try to accomplish it immediately without consideration for how it applies to yourself. 

The ultra-point of this post is to warn those of you who spend too much time "knowing" something. I myself spent a great deal of time reading about "pick-up" and other hobbies (I've been known to spend hours researching specific lifts, only to never even try them out at the gym). 

Without attempting to reach the mastery level, you are only wasting time.

You can read a thousand posts on how to pick up women, but until you begin acting on it you will see no results.


This is true in all things.

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