As a kid, I liked magic tricks. Almost every weekend, I forced my Grandmother to drive me to this run down flea market by my house, so I could buy the latest and greatest magic tricks. I’d sit in my room and practice for hours and hours until I could complete each trick a few times in a row, without screwing up. After that, I’d leave my room and put on a show for Mom and Dad.
This process repeated itself for months.
Later in my career, I put on a magic show for my younger sisters sixth birthday party. I spent hours organizing my magic tricks, deciding which order to perform them, and rehearsing the show. I even put on a little red cape.
On the day of the show, I rolled my little magic cart in front of the ten attendees (easily my biggest audience to date). To my surprise, after every trick a little girl who lived on our street would say, “I know how that’s done”. I still remember the anger and frustration that I felt, after she belittled all the hours I spent practicing.
Looking back on it, I realize the world has a whole lot of trick-spoiling little girls, and not enough little magicians. This is because there is a huge disconnect between knowing and doing.
There are millions of articles and videos that explain how to complete almost any magic trick you’d want to learn. Getting your hands on this information is easy. Competently performing the magic trick is hard. It requires discipline, focus, and lots of practice.
This disconnect between knowing vs. doing reaches far beyond my little magic show. The example is universal.
How many people know what it means to eat right, exercise, and make smart financial decisions?
How many people actually do these things well?
Again, knowing is easy, doing is hard.
People that produce worthwhile results understand this disconnect, while the vast majority of people are still like that little girl: they know how to do the trick, but lack the discipline to do it.