Knowledge is NOT Power

“Knowledge is power.” — Francis Bacon

Francis was WRONG. Knowledge is potential power. It must be applied. Reading a fitness or self-help book isn’t going to improve your life. Using the principles, you learn, will.

“Knowledge is NOT power. Action is power.” – Tony Robbins

Action produces results. Knowledge and intentions, unapplied produce NOTHING. In fact, while I highly encourage people to read as much as possible, it can be a form of procrastination. Learning cannot replace action.

Discipline is more potent than knowledge because discipline requires action. Actions produce results. Disciplined people have a bias toward action. Disciplined people avoid the trap of getting stuck in their head.

Disciplined people balance learning and doing. Disciplined people show-up consistently and work hard. They don’t have to have the best solution. Often the path forward isn’t clear until you move forward. Disciplined people move forward.

Disciplined people hammer away on their project, they stay focused on their goals, and they put in the work, day after day, week after week. They accomplish much more than the geniuses that overthink things.

Today, most of us have smartphones; vast amounts of information in the palm of our hands. If knowledge were power, we would all be powerful. Learning is important. We want to apply the best strategy for achieving our goals, just don’t let your search for the best approach become a form of active procrastination.

We don’t need more information. We need more discipline. In many ways, our smartphone is a curse. It is a constant source of distraction. One of the first disciplines we need to adapt to be more efficient is to ignore our smartphone. When I want to get work done, I charge it on a desk behind me.

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I learned discipline in the army. I enlisted as an infantryman, and while at Fort Benning, I was told that discipline is doing what you should do, whether anyone is watching or not. Later I became an officer after graduating from the United States Military Academy at West Point. Like many graduates, I was appalled to see the breakdown in discipline when a graduating cadet was texting while marching in formation.

I am sure that cadet is very intelligent, but I doubt she will be successful, based on the poor discipline and judgment she displayed. She knew, knowledge; that what she was doing was wrong, but she lacked the discipline to do the right thing. Education without the discipline to apply it produces poor results.

This lapse in discipline might not seem severe, but it is. Everything matters. Do you think this is the first time she had done it? Do you think this was an isolated incident? If you said yes to any of these questions, you would be naïve. Everything matters. Everything is a reflection of our character.

We should all read and learn, but we can not forget that learning is not doing. When we apply what we know, knowledge becomes power.

Best wishes and best health.

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