“Wisdom is knowing what to do next,
skill is knowing how to do it,
and virtue is doing it,”
observed David Starr Jordan
Most of us know what we need to do in order to live happier, healthier and more fulfilling lives. The real problem is that we don’t do what we know. I have heard many motivational speakers say,
“Knowledge is power.”
I disagree. Knowledge is not power. Knowledge is only potential power. It transforms itself into actual power the moment you decisively act on it.
The mark of a strong character lies not in doing what is fun to do or what is easy to do. The sign of deep moral authority appears in the individual who consistently does what he ought to be doing rather than what he feels like doing. A person of true character spends his days doing that which is the right thing to do. Rather than watching television for three hours after an exhausting day at work, he has the courage to get up off the couch and read to his kids. Instead of sleeping in those cold wintry mornings, this individual exercises his natural reserves of self-discipline and gets out of bed for a run. And since action is a habit, the more positive actions you take, the more you will feel like taking.
All too often, we spend our days waiting for the ideal path to appear in front of us. We forget that paths are made by walking, not waiting. Dreaming is great. But thinking big thoughts alone will not build a business, pay your bills or make you into the person you know in your heart you can be. In other words of Thomas Carlyle,
“The end of man is an action and not a thought, though it were noblest.”
The smallest of actions is always better than the boldest of intentions.
Adapted from “Who Will Cry When You Die?” by Robin Sharma