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Information is overrated (and how people actually learn)

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About a month ago, I undertook a new home project renovation:

-> Update the closet near the front hall.

I wish I had a ‘before the project began’ picture (note to self: do this from now on), but in a nutshell: it was an empty closet with a coat hanger and a wobbly top shelf.

We basically used it as a transitory drop off point for things we didn’t want on the floor but weren’t ready to bring up to the attic (or things that fell into the ‘do we throw this away now or later?’ category).

Bottom line: Not a great use of space.

So I got cracking.

Here’s the midway point and the “after” point (the real before picture would just be a pile of nothing in there):

I still have to stain the wood seat, fill in some cracks, do a final paint touch up, but it’s basically there.

This was a great project for a few reasons:

1. We probably quadrupled our storage space with this improvement, which is a big win because Blaise has way too much playdoh and we need a place to keep it.​

2. We now have a new, beautiful space in our house where none existed before. You can just feel it – the energy has changed around this area. 

I know that sounds nuts, but it’s true. 

That’s because beauty has a physiological impact on the body. When you surround yourself with beauty, you will feel better, more energetic, and more connected to the world you live in. Fact.

3. My woodworking and carpentry skills have gotten substantially better. 

When I first started getting into woodworking and carpentry, every piece of wood I cut or manhandled looked amateur (obviously). Now, my cuts are cleaner; I’m more precise; I see how things fit together better and I can plan multiple steps ahead much more efficiently than before. 

Point is, my skills are growing each day, and I’m ready to move onto more advanced projects, to continue to improve and beautify our space.

But most importantly, I discovered this:

You learn with your hands, not your mind.

You can read every blog post, watch every YouTube video, subscribe to every magazine, and buy every book you want to learn ABOUT a subject…

But you don’t learn unless your hands move.

Until you start implementing; until you put saw to wood, pen to paper, phone to ear – until you put your gloves on and enter the arena – you don’t actually know anything. 

You just know OF it, and that’s not the same thing.

Here’s where I’m going with this:

Entrepreneurs, authors, and creators ask me for help all the time.

I get dozens to hundreds of emails every week, and within these messages I noticed a pattern (not for every email or every person, but for many).

What people think they need is the insight.

The idea.

The “hack” that’s going to turn everything around for them…

Unfortunately, more of these things won’t make a difference.

Even if you could connect your brain to a machine to give you all the information in the world, you wouldn’t end up like Neo, karate-chopping British clones like a boss.

It’s more likely you’d end up like Bran Stark from Game of Thrones, with all the information of the ages and the ability to soar to great heights and look at everyone and everything through the lens of a bird…

…but when you wake up, you’re still just a dude sitting in a wheelchair by a tree, next to a eunuch who recently tried to kill your whole family.

People say we’re in the “Information Age” – as if information is the Holy Grail that defines this generation and the next (true story, I believed the hype for the last decade, now I’m over it).

I say let’s forget that nonsense.

Let’s change things up.

If we’re going to title this time period anything, let’s at least name it something useful, like the “Creators Age.”

Why?

Because the only thing that matters is output.

What have you done?

What are you doing?

What’s next?

These aren’t questions you answer with an idea; you answer them with your hands, with your sweat, and with the work you put in, each and every day, even if you don’t see the payoff for months or years to come.

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