Don’t Just Think It, Live It

Creative Professionals know that the professional self is an extension of the personal self. In improving your personal self, you improve your professional self. And so we value personal development.

Certain books and seminars can lead to authentic transformation within you. But the information alone cannot lead to change. The value of a book or seminar is greatly determined by your ability to diligently live the principles contained within the information presented.

When you read something, you may know about it, but you can’t be it. To be it, you must live the principles contained in the knowledge you obtain.

Many people go to a weekend seminar and report what an extraordinary life experience they had. Check in with them months later and you’ll likely notice very little change both inwardly and externally. When the “high” of the event fades, their lives default back to their previous norms.

Why does this happen? Simply thinking about something doesn’t lead to internal change. Diligent practice does. Sometimes you’ll benefit from reading the same book again before checking it off your reading list. Integration of valuable information occurs through repetition where the information gets assimilated through a form of osmosis instead of traditional linear comprehension.

We tend to think of exercises and practices as joyless homework. We can’t, however, successfully free climb a rock face without training and practice. We can’t write well without consistent practice of our craft. We can’t learn how to win friends and influence people unless we consistently focus on the needs of others. We can’t learn to forgive unconditionally unless we consistently let go of our grievances we believe others have caused us.

The devotion of the Student is to live the principles he is committed to learning. Eventually you must move beyond thinking about a thing to living it. When you live it, you are it. No one can take that away. It’s with you always.