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The Knowing-Doing gap

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I registered into Stumble today. And my first reaction to it is “Whoa! so many blogs…so much information!” I clicked “Self Improvement” and began reading voraciously.

Then I stumbled upon a Dale Carnegie excerpt from “How to Win Friends and Influence People” and remembered Eddie’s mention about people who read too much about Personal Development. “You meet them 2 years after and nothing’s changed about them. Except that they know 2 more quotes from Dale Carnegie. ”
(by the way Eddie Ezeanu’s perspective on readers and doers on Personal Development is here).

But as Dale Carnegie himself puts it “Common sense is not common practice”. There’s all these blog posts and articles around, all of which tell you “10 ways to improve this” or “5 simple steps to that”…and when you read them, they seem so natural, like “How didn’t I think of that?”, “Oh I will try that as of tomorrow.”

And how often do you, actually?

That’s cause it’s easier to acknowledge an idea, and accept it. From accepting, to  internalizing and changing something, it’s a larger step. If we could all change so easily.

I’m now using more my coaching abilities. I write and read a lot on personal development. Did it ever occur to you, when you buy a new car, that you start noticing that model of car everywhere on the street? That’s what I get now. It seems everyone is now into personal development. Everyone’s training to be a coach.
There’s this abundance of resources around us. All of them are pulling us towards living our potential, being more fulfilled.
And yet, in the same society that offers this abundance of resources to grow personally, there’s so many people trapped, feeling exhausted, feeling robotic. The gap here is between knowing the resources are there, and actually using these resources.

My personal belief is that the ones who’re offering these resources are the same people who’re trying to break free.

Go, Freddie, tell’em!

The Knowing-Doing gap resides between when you say “Oh yeah, this is so interesting. I could do that.” and saying “Let’s do it now.” Freedom lies in actually making the choice. Taking the first step to change.

What can YOU do to break free?


Written by effectivenesscoach

November 8, 2009 at 6:59 pm

Courage and inspiration

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Many times, when we see people who leave everything and pursue their dreams, we think:

“Yeah, but he/she’s missing all the money I’m earning”

“He/she’ll never make it, it’s too utopic”

“I’d never be able to do that anyway”

..or other excuses we kindly make up for ourselves.

I remembered this when I read again Mihai’s story – a friend of mine who decided to give up everything (job and money, in a nutshell) to dedicate himself to a project related to human development and coaching. More about his project and life here and here.

Also inspiring was the dream of Alex Gavan, another friend who’s an alpinist and recently returned from a trip to the Himalayas. I remember when we were both around 20 (some 7-8 years ago), returning from a conference on a bus, and he said: “You know, I’m a mountain climber. That’s what I want to do. I want to climb the highest mountains in the world.” I said “You’re crazy. Do you even know what this means?” but of course I learned to admire this when, step by step, he followed his goal. He’s now pretty famous, and an inspiration to people in my home country, as he will deliver a speech on his dream at TED X Bucharest in October.

Of course, having the courage to pursue an apparently impossible goal can be reckless. You can destroy everything you’ve built in your life so far. But also, you might succeed. And I’m sure both Mihai and Alex can say that the thing that helped them most here was support of others.

What’s the conclusion?

When someone talks about a goal, and your first reaction to it is “This is insane. How can you do that?”, think that you may be snapping the door on an inspiring future of someone.

How about saying  “That’s a great idea! What’s the first step you want to take?”

Written by effectivenesscoach

September 25, 2009 at 5:59 am