60 lessons i've learned from my mom
hide and seek: how to find opportunities

5 ideas for putting knowledge into action


"It is necessary to combine
  knowledge born from study with
  sincere practice in our daily lives.
 These two must go together.”

Dalai Lama



“That’s not a very positive thing to say!” and “It doesn’t really seem like you’re living in the present right now…” These are the types of comments I get from close friends and family members these days. I suppose these words are what I deserve for writing a blog about living positively in the present moment and not always practicing what I preach. As I’m sure you know, it’s so much easier to read books and blogs and articles about positivity and happiness than it is to actually practice positive thinking all of the time. It’s so much easier read than done…

But without all of the reading, I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the latest information and I wouldn’t even consider practicing most things because I wouldn’t be aware of them. I might have an idea, some great thoughts of my own, but I wouldn’t have nearly as much insight as I have because I have read and researched and learned about new ways to be positive.

As the quote above says, you need both the knowledge and the action. You need to learn and you need to do. This -- as I know from experience -- isn’t always easy. In fact, it’s flat out hard. You can read about almost anything, but it’s a great deal more difficult to actually put that information into action. I often find myself wondering how I can balance all of the great information I learn with actually doing the things I’m learning about. After reading the Dalai Lama’s quote on Twitter, I started giving this topic some more thought and here are some ideas I came up with for incorporating knowledge into our daily lives…


  1. Tell someone else what you learned. When you spread the word about what you’ve learned, you’re not only introducing others to a new topic, but you’re also reminding yourself of what you’ve learned. Every time you repeat it, you’re ingraining the idea more and more into your mind. The more you tell others, the more likely you’ll be to remember it. The more you remember it, the greater the chance that you’ll put the ideas into action.


  1. Take notes on what you’re learning. Just like you used to (or still) do in school, taking notes on what you read is a great way to commit ideas to memory and to gain a better understanding of them. After you learn something, write it down somewhere. Make a list of what you want to do, add the action you want to take to your To Do list, or schedule time on your calendar to focus on your new course of action. Putting it in writing will make it more concrete and make it more likely that you’ll actually follow through.


  1. Incorporate ideas into your routine. If you want to practice something or explore new knowledge in an action-oriented way, find a way to incorporate it into your daily (or, at the very least, weekly) routine. Take action first thing in the morning if you can to make sure that you don’t end up putting it off later in the day. If you need a little motivation, ask a friend or partner to take action with you. If you make your action part of your routine, you’ll be a lot more likely to stick with it. As I mentioned in #2, putting the action you want to take on your calendar can really help you to actually follow through with it.


  1. Post reminders of ideas everywhere. Whoever invented the sticky note was a genius. You can write anything you want on those little pieces of paper and put them anywhere! Write a phrase (or a few phrases) that will remind you to take action and post it everywhere. Post it in your car, on your mirror, in your office, on your fridge—anywhere you’ll be likely to look and be reminded of the action you want to take.


  1. Keep learning about the topic. The more you learn about a subject, the more space it takes up in your mind. (I’m not sure if this is a fact, but it seems to be that way in my experience.) The more space something takes up in your mind, the harder it is to forget about it. Therefore, it’s best to keep learning more about what you want to be knowledgeable about. The more you learn, the more you’ll think, and the more likely you’ll put these thoughts into action.


When I first read the quote on Twitter, it really spoke to me because I know how hard it can be to put words and ideas into action. I spend a great deal of time learning, but not nearly enough time practicing what I’ve learned (and what I preach about on my site). The quote inspired me to give this topic some thought and I truly thinking the tips I’ve come up with will help me put the inspiring ideas I come across into action because, as the Dalai Lama said, these two must go together.


How do you take what you've learned
 and put that knowledge into action? 



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For me, it's all about reflection. It's about moving through your day to the best of your ability and then spending a few minutes in the evening reflecting on the day's events; what worked and what you'll do differently when the sun rises tomorrow. This easier said than done, but try not to judge yourself. Just reflect, and move on!

One of the things I've discovered, Dani, is that the Universe has a way of putting me right smack dab in the middle of a situation where the knowledge I've just been learning about can be given a practical application. It's REMARKABLY GOOD at doing this! :)

Maybe that's one of the tips I would give: Simply look for the places in your life where this knowledge can already be applied ... and then start applying.

The other tip would be to take baby steps. Rather than trying to apply ALL of the knowledge we're taking in (and finding defeat) sometimes it's better and easier to focus on just applying one thing, getting good at it, and then adding another. I've found that this has really helped me.

Anyway, thank you for another lovely post and for being so honest about yourself. It's nice to know someone else has similar struggles as me. :)

Enjoy your well-deserved holiday in Florida. Will look forward to you being back.

Michelle - What a a great point you bring up about reflection. We should all strive to do the best we can, reflect on what we've done, and then move on.

Chania Girl - Excellent point about looking for the places in your life where the knowledge can be applied. Sometimes it really is just about paying attention to what's happening around you. I'm glad you enjoyed the post! :)

They way that i take what i've learned and put it into action is simply by writing it down. Then breaking it down into small simple steps until it becomes a daily habit. Then after doing that for awhile it comes easily.

Hi Dani,
The best thing about having a blog is when you tell others what you're planning on doing, they keep you accountable! I've found my blog a great way of doing all of the things you've suggested above, and also a fantastic way of discovering like-minded people who want you help you put your plan into action! I love these simple tips!

Love the quote and your associated thoughts. I agree, knowledge is key to developing our wisdom. Much of what I read unlocks that which is within me which helps me to grow.
I like you write about what I learn and remember from within.

Have fun in the sun!

Great rundown -- I think continuous learning is the key. Test yourself, learn and respond. It's a learning loop.

Josten - Writing it down does help quite a bit, as does breaking it down into small steps. All of those small steps add up quickly!

Topi - That's so true! When you tell people what you're doing, you're much more accountable for your actions. That's one of the best things about blogging!

Mark - Thank you! I'm glad you liked this post. Like you, I find that what I read really helps to enhance the person I already am and helps me to put my own ideas into action. I'll definitely be enjoying the sunshine!

J.D. - Thanks! Continuous learning is definitely so, so important. Love the idea you brought up of a "learning loop." Great concept!

1. Tell someone else what you learned.

I think thats why I love blogging so much. It realy gives me a chance to share what I've been reading.

have fun in Florida, Dani !

As the Dalai Lama spoke to you...you have spoke to me. Present moment awareness knowlege is one thing and the practice is another.Good for you Dani!. Another inspiring post!


Rocky - I agree with you there. Blogging really does give us a chance to share what we've learned with others. Florida was awesome!

Derrick - I'm so glad this post spoke to you. It's definitely important to have the knowledge, but it's just as important to put it into practice. Glad this inspired you!

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