I keep running into this quote from Samuel Johnson. It’s a powerful quote that reminds us that our problem isn’t what we know. It’s what we act on.
The more I dig into any area of my life where I need growth, I discover that I very seldom require additional information or instruction.
What I normally need are reminders and accountability.
You and I have little need for new information.
Sure, if you have to figure out how to run an analysis in Excel or are planning a trip to a foreign country where you must memorize a few key phrases in a new language, yes – you have to learn new information. A YouTube search or a foreign language mobile app will get you what you need.
But when it comes to things like how to parent, how to eat better, how to exercise, how to grow spiritually, how to save or make money, how to be better at your job…. you already know.
At most, you know how to find it via Google or reviewing a book you read 3 years ago.
Most of us have all the information we’d ever need in order to succeed in most areas of our lives.
What we need is a system to act on the information.
Every morning, during my journaling time, I rewrite, from memory, my personal mission statement.
Yet every day, my memory of that mission statement slowly leaks out and isn’t brought to bear on everything I say and do. It’s frustrating, but living from a place of mission is so important that I’m committed to doing this every single day.
If I still struggle, then I’ll bring in reinforcements in some other way.
I don’t need to learn anything new. I just want to find the right system to get after it and do it.
It’s the same thing as it relates to my connection to my faith, to my parenting, to my marriage, and to my health and wellness.
We all know.
It’s not what we know. It’s that we need reminders – over and over again.
But we procrastinate by thinking we need new information or to try some slick new trick – once we find it.
So quick trying to find new info. You don’t need it. Neither do I.
Remind yourself that you know what works. And start building the systems into your life that makes it easier to do that thing or those few things that will get you where you need to be.
Reading: Upstream by Dan Heath