Knowledge is power. But power is only potential energy. It has to be put into action in order to be of any real value in the world.
I’m as guilty as anyone of reading too many books and articles, watching way too many videos, and taking too many online courses/webinars without actually getting anything done. I research the hell out of things. I always did this with term papers in college, too. I’d spend the majority of my time compiling information, with all of the real work happening at the eleventh hour. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty good at spinning my wheels.
You can be constantly acquiring information and knowledge, but you’ll never be an expert in your field unless you implement that knowledge. You have to DO your craft in order to hone your craft. You can be an expert at learning, but you’ll never be an expert at what you do unless you physically do it. Book learning and head knowledge alone can’t do what loads of practice can.
Learning without application is like watching a workout video from the couch. Don’t expect to see results if you’re only learning the moves instead of moving.
What sets apart the experts in any given field is that they’ve put in hundreds–if not thousands–of hours of practice. They are constantly honing their craft. If you want to be on the same playing field as the best of the best, it’s not enough to watch what they do and hear what they say. And comparison will only cripple you. You have to do what they do every single day. Implement your craft in your own unique style, and do it constantly. That is the one foolproof way to get great at anything.
Bottom line: be a perennial student, but don’t forget to do the work. Consistent practice is the key to mastering your craft.