I’m a big fan of learning. I’m also a big fan of watching others learn. It brings me a lot of joy. In fact, the concept of perpetual learning runs through my company in the form of one of our Core Standards, “Never Stop Learning.”
(I wrote a blog post a couple of years ago about ways we learn and it’s over on the Focus Lab blog if you’re interested.)
Here’s the thing though: learning isn’t enough. You’re wasting your time if you just become a walking encyclopedia or a walking Google. So let’s talk about consuming versus doing.
The majority of what I read — in books at least — is about leadership, management, and other core business topics. When it comes to reading this type of content, it can be easy to do nothing but consume it. But stopping at consuming would be doing myself a disservice. I have to move from consumer to doer. You have to move from consumer to doer.
The challenge for a lot of us is knowing when to stop the information collecting and start actually doing something with it. This problem can be particularly large for people who are more risk-averse or are simply scared. Picking up “one more book” or reading “one more article” about the problem you’re trying to solve is an easy trap to fall into.
Are you currently in a similar cycle? Are you waiting to read “one more book” before you start that new thing? Are you hoping to find “one more article” before you make that next decision? How much are you trying to consume before actually doing something?
This isn’t to say we shouldn’t be consuming things of course. That’s a key ingredient to furthering one’s self. No, the question isn’t about if—but rather how much.
Never confuse movement with action.Ernest Hemingway
The big question today: What’s your consuming-to-doing ratio?
So — if you’ve consumed more than you’ve done lately, I want to challenge you to put down the book, close the blog, and go do something.
Published on June 24, 2015
© 2023 Erik Reagan unless otherwise noted
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