Reading Only Counts as 1%

I used to think reading was progress as if the act of reading was growth itself. Acquiring information, inheriting wisdom, seeing the dots connected before my very eyes — I thought once the code was cracked then everything that actually needed to be done would happen by itself.

For weight loss, knowing to track your macros isn’t the same as actually measuring your portions and pushing the plate away despite the extra scoop of rice and drumstick seeming harmless.

For writing, being able to recite all 55 tools from Writing Tools, even if you could do it perfectly from memory, ultimately doesn’t count as mining your views and experiences for assertions and insights. Nor does it count for the messy work of assembling it into a first draft before refining it into a second, and then third, and most likely a fourth.

For self-defense, memorizing all counter-attacks and submissions isn’t going to guarantee that your face won’t feel like hamburger meat the next time you spar.

It’s easy to believe that knowing what to do is just as good as doing it. But really, knowing what to do — even if you’ve never felt more inspired in your life — is just 1% of what needs to be done. The other 99% that results in the change we seek is perspiration.

If an achievement started with a library of knowledge, it was likely only achieved after a mountain of work and an odyssey of action.



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Jason Lam

Jason Lam

Head of Admissions Consulting | Point Avenue