“When you know better, you do better.” – Maya Angelou

All seven of my nieces (I don’t have nephews) are in school now. Five of them have gone off to university. I’m very proud of my older girlies for choosing education and making their way in this world.

Still, I can easily tell you which of my nieces is learning the most. It’s the youngest one who’s in pre-school. She does less reading and more doing. I love learning through books, but nothing beats an immersive experience.

This week’s tip is a reminder to put knowledge into action.

Yvonne (AKA: Auntie Evie)

Deep wisdom requires personal experience.

We’re all learners. It’s part of our human nature. In fact, we’re engaged in this tip because we seek knowledge. Knowing something intellectually though, is very different than mastering it on an experiential level.

There are different levels of learning. The understanding we get from a deeper experience, one that involves our emotions, senses and physical body, is the wisdom that will make us an expert.

Although thought is where we start, real clarity comes from doing. It’s common to take in information through reading, conversation, or watching someone else perform, and feel like we understand the concept. It’s only when we attempt to do it ourselves that we truly learn what questions to ask, the effect it has on us and others, and how to explain it to someone else.

We often avoid physically doing something because it feels awkward at first. We believe we’ve understood the concept intellectually, so expect too much of our performance. We enter the failure zone and revert to thinking we’ve learned enough. We make excuses like “it’s not for me” and stop trying.

For example, if we think we know how to better relax because we read an article on it, but we are not feeling energized and clear headed, then we have more to learn about how to relax well. It seems simple, but until we deliberately practise it with evaluation and open-mindedness, we won’t master it and reap the rewards.

Take action: Instead of saying “I know this already,” ask “what more can I learn?” and patiently, put it into practice. Once you’ve had enough experience with something to feel you deeply understand it, try teaching it to someone else. The action of teaching will bring your learning to an even deeper level.

:: Inspired by Marie Forleo’s audio, How to Get Anything You Want