When you're trying to learn a new skill and find yourself frustrated with your progress, it may be because there's an imbalance of theory and practice.

What is theory, what is practice, and why is the balance of these two important?

Theory is intellectual - it's an intangible system of thoughts that explains how something works.  Theory is purely mind based.  Practice on the other hand has to do with the body. Practice is when you take action, using your body in some capacity, to bring a cerebral concept to life.

More often than not, when we're in learning mode and not progressing, it's because we're engaging in too much theory and not enough practice.

Why?  Because theory only exists in the mind.  And while you might feel like you’re accomplishing a lot by listening to theory, it’s all just intellectual gymnastics - you're not actually materializing anything into the world.  Tangible results only happen through action - when knowledge gets applied externally, in some physical way beyond the mind.  In other words, knowing something intellectually is very different than actually being able to do it.

Imagine if Will Power, the winner of this year's Indy 500, told you a top 10 list of things that helped him to win the race this year.  Yeah, you'd have insightful tips that would help someone become a world class auto racer, but simply acquiring that information doesn't do anything If anything, with this new knowledge you could potentially delude yourself into thinking that you're qualified to be an international racing champion!  

Now, if you were able to pair Will Power's lecture side by side with EXPERIENCE - applying his tips as while you were sitting in the driver's seat, wearing the suit, leaning in on every turn - only then would you begin the process of creating real improvement for yourself.

I know this all sounds obvious, but really ask yourself this...

"Am I spending most of my time consuming information, or am I also equally and simultaneously engaging in a strategic action plan that activates this new information?"  

You can improve.  You can transform.  You can transform the world.  But you've got to make sure theory is always accompanied side by side with intelligent practice.  So turn off the lecture, roll up your sleeves, and get your body moving.  Now's the time to dig in.

Andrew Abaria

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