Inspiration over information

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None of us need more information. Its sheer magnitude - not to mention its free availability - should clue you into it’s value. Or lack thereof.

Am I saying that learning is pointless? Or that it’s bad or wrong to want to learn something new? No, you goofball. That’s not it at all.

What I’m saying is that we don’t need it.

It’s not what you know, it’s what you do

My life isn’t perfect (say what???), and there’s ample reason to improve. But, to date, I’ve got roughly 24 months of solid, undeniable proof that reading, researching, studying others…none of it helps. Sure, I have more data in my head, but it passes the time, nothing more.

What matters is action. Moving. Momentum. This is no revelation, I know you know this. I know I’ve known this for a good long time, too. But it didn’t keep me from making that same old mistake. You know the one…assuming my lack of success was a result of a lack of knowledge and, thus, setting out to get more of it.

The problem, of course, is that (as mentioned above) there’s no shortage of information (aka knowledge) and it’s not always easy to tell which information is best. So we keep after it, thereby enabling the subtle, but powerful, belief that we’re not smart enough to make important change in our lives. And this belief vies for control of the resources, and keeps us unproductively busy learning new things week after week, month after month, year after year.

And it sucks eggs.

When I first started making websites, I read a lot about it. It was all gibberish and confusing and made my brain hurt, but I didn’t know squat so I figured I had to hit the books. Then one day I jumped in and started building my first site, and I did things I would have sworn, just moments earlier, I was absolutely incapable of doing. So you see? This pursuit of information isn’t just a sucker’s game because it takes so much of our time, but also because the more we learn, the more we understand how little, in comparison to the available information, we actually know. And that begins to color our beliefs in a rather limiting way.

I would have sworn I couldn’t build a website that looked as good and functioned as well as that one did. That first one. But I did, and it not only netted me one nice looking, functional site. It also gave me a bonus…namely, it let me see what I was capable of and allowed me the opportunity to feel proud of my accomplishments. Pride does not come from learning…it comes from doing. And pride is freaking sweet.

Sometimes, though, we forget to do

Yep, sometimes life intervenes in such a way that we forget which side of the bread our butter is on. We forget that if we’ll only just take some action, a few steps forward, the path will unfold. The momentum will build. The real learning will take place and the imperfect life will more closely approximate perfection.

All of which brings me to the point of this story. You know those college football coaches that make millions of dollars a year? You know, the ones who don’t have to put on pads and hurl themselves full speed into other likeminded folks? I used to shake my head in disgust that we live in a society whose clearly misplaced values provide for the payment of such large sums of money to these guys (though, honestly, I’d gladly have accepted such a post were it offered). But not anymore.

I finally understand the value of a good coach. Sure, he or she is going to teach. That’s a given. But clearly the teaching part isn’t where the money’s at. Nope, the money is for their ability to inspire. To motivate. To draw out the best in others. To get people moving.

Because even top athletes forget to do, sometimes. They let fear or despair or a lack of confidence or overconfidence or laziness keep them from doing. From acting. From taking a few steps forward, toward the unfolding path, the building momentum, the real learning…the perfection.

It’s a state of affairs I’m quite familiar with, so when Tim Brownson reached out and proposed a swapping of services - he’d provide coaching to me, I’d provide, um, something that sounded like web help but I’m thinking more and more was really just filler, something that would allow me to say yes because he knew damn well I needed to - I said ‘absolutely’ without a moment’s hesitation.

It’s been almost a month now and I can say unequivocally that Tim has helped me tremendously. It’s a work in progress, but I can feel the momentum building and, more than anything, the hope returning. I won’t go into all the details just now, because really it can be boiled down to one thing…he’s reminded me of the power inherent to action. To doing. To taking specific and purposeful steps forward.

He’s reminded me that more information is not the answer.

If you’re thinking that life, your life, could use some improvement, I’d suggest first you stop the incoming traffic. Recognize that more and more inputs are not going to improve your output. Only output after output after output will improve your output.

Much easier said than done, of course, and if you could use a bit more inspiration, and a bit less information, maybe you want to reach out to Tim. His life coach blog, A Daring Adventure, is a truly amazing resource and, of course, offers plenty of ways to contact him.

He’s also recently co-authored a book called ‘How To Be Rich And Happy’, and has a pretty specific, and amazing goal in mind for it. Maybe you want to help him down that path a bit and buy a first edition copy of his book?

Either way, how about we make today doday…???

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Thekla Richter April 26, 2010 at 3:22 pm

I agree that information without action is pointless. But I also believe that action without information is also not usually the best path. For instance, I bet that you would have found it hard to jump into designing your website without exposing yourself to that information first. After you’d acquired it, and let it coalesce in your mind, you were prepared to start working and doing and acting and manifesting. Your time spent absorbing information was in my opinion likely a necessary part of the journey.

The sweet spot is recognizing when you are ready enough and jumping in. There’s such a thing as having too little information to make a good start, and such a thing also as using information acquisition as a form of delay. As in so many things… I believe that it’s a balance :)
.-= Thekla Richter´s last blog ..Trimming Down Your Project List: Three Small Things =-.


Jeb April 26, 2010 at 3:29 pm

Hey Thekla…yes, for sure, balance is key. I think my main point is that we know enough to get started in a lot of things. Especially things that are of interest, or a passion of ours. Yet because we have access to so much information, it’s becoming a default of ours to ‘research’, rather than go out into the world and do some trial and error. And in most cases, it keeps us from every progressing, or at the very least, doing so as quickly as we could if we’d get out into the world.

Thanks for stopping by.


Thekla Richter April 26, 2010 at 4:36 pm

I totally agree with that. Researching things is still not DOING them, and most projects benefit from getting out there in the world as early in the process as possible.
.-= Thekla Richter´s last blog ..Trimming Down Your Project List: Three Small Things =-.


Bamboo Forest - PunIntended April 26, 2010 at 7:33 pm

I’m reading a book right now that says one of the keys to success is ‘modeling’. Basically, people who succeed did things a certain way. And the theory goes, that if you can duplicate the process they put in, you will reach similar results.

I believe it’s basically true. Not just with rewards for one in terms of finances, but rewards in terms of mental health, physical health, etc.

You write: “Then one day I jumped in and started building my first site, and I did things I would have sworn, just moments earlier, I was absolutely incapable of doing. So you see?”

Your experience only seems to support the ‘modeling theory’. Everyone I’ve ever talked to who became good at web design told me that they learned most of what they did by looking at the code of other sites and *just trying to build their own*.

Anyways, keep up the good work. It only gets better from here.
.-= Bamboo Forest - PunIntended´s last blog ..Review: Lunchables =-.


Jeb April 26, 2010 at 8:30 pm

Hey BF…you know, I don’t disagree with the potential of modeling. I truly believe it can be a tremendous help to many. But - and I’m only speaking from my own experience - I think there’s a risk in that approach because often times it’s overwhelming to see the success someone else has had. I know I tend to see it and feel bad about myself…beat myself up about the fact that I haven’t succeeded in that way, and so it actually becomes counter productive.

But coaching has been completely different. It seems to be more about finding my own way, my own unique approach. Which, to me, helps me to see my own value better than aspiring to someone else’s. But as I said, I think there’s great value in modeling, so I think I’ll be coming back around to it at some point.


Bamboo Forest - PunIntended April 26, 2010 at 10:14 pm

Well… When I say ‘modeling’ I don’t mean one follows the exact approach of someone else, necessarily. But there seems to be definite consistences with those who succeed.

One big one being: Belief in oneself. When you believe in yourself it’s as if you’re sending a direct message to your mind to find the resources within to deliver. So, I do think there are definite psychological principles that lead to success. And it seems those that succeed champion them.

Either way, awesome that coaching is proving helpful for you. That rocks. I’m a big believer in *do whatever it takes* (as long as another person isn’t harmed, obviously).

Keep up the great work.
.-= Bamboo Forest - PunIntended´s last blog ..Review: Lunchables =-.


Jeb April 27, 2010 at 7:01 am

That’s interesting BF…it’s actually ‘belief in oneself’ that drew me to you. There’s a fine line between that and cockiness, the latter being something I absolutely detest. You come down on the right side of that line in a very funny way, and I admire that quality in you. Something I’m working on… :)


Tim Brownson April 27, 2010 at 5:04 am

Jeb, thanks a lot for the mention!

Some day, and that day may never come, I will call upon you to do a service for me. But until that day, consider this life coaching a gift ;-)

@ BF - NLP Is pretty much built on modeling. It was Bandler and Grinders decision to model Fritz Perls, Milton Erickson and Virginia Satir that kicked it all off.
.-= Tim Brownson´s last blog ..It’s Time To Get Rich and Happy =-.


Jeb April 27, 2010 at 7:29 am

I knew it, you sneaky bastard…(thank you).


Nate April 27, 2010 at 2:14 pm

Yup, reading can only get you so far. You have to get your hands dirty and take action in order to make progress. For example, I read about mediation for years and was greatly interested in it, but I never formally practiced it on a regular basis….so I didn’t get any benefit from it. People fall into this trap all the time. They keep reading things thinking that they will become an expert or make progress, but it just doesn’t happen. We think we’re keeping ourselves busy and making progress…but it’s really just a delusion.

Another example. You like to skateboard. I’m sure you didn’t get good at it by watching skating videos or reading books by Tony Hawk or other skating masters. You got better by physically doing it.

I don’t know, maybe too many of us get scared because when we start an endeavor we don’t know much…especially if it is a completely new endeavor unrelated to our current career…or anything we know for that matter. We’re not used to the ‘not knowing’ and we are not comfortable with it. The key is to remember that it’s ok. Be in the moment and accept where you are and take action from that point. If you do that and don’t get caught up in where you should be and how much you should know you’ll be good to go.
.-= Nate´s last blog ..You Have Only This Moment To Live =-.


Jeb April 27, 2010 at 10:38 pm

Hi Nate,
Great to see you bud. Thanks for your take on this…I think I’d add this as well: We expect instant success. And this expectation, being unrealistic, creates more pain associated with taking action (we don’t like to feel like we’re unsuccessful, so we avoid action), so perhaps we’d be better off reading up on the subject for another few weeks. No easy answers, other than what we all know (but still avoid)…time to bust a move.


Tre ~ January 6, 2011 at 10:46 pm

move in thought.
always first.
listening and sifting are powerful beyond measure. and help you navigate which tangible to do.
but they are very much ‘doing’..very much.
from all i’ve witnessed jeb you continuously and wisely listen…and rethink and reposition and those aren’t so much ‘new beginnings’ as extended expressions.
giddy bout your new look here and the offerings are just yumville.


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