If you don’t use it, you lose it. Early in my career, I took a class to learn Microsoft Excel with a great theory that this would improve my level of financial acumen by personally arranging and interpreting the data. After the class, I didn’t use what I had learned as intended. What I had learned in the class was lost when not applied. The learning was left as just a theory until I picked it up again many years later.
Well organized learning that is presented to us or taken in through reading or observation will lie dormant until you apply that learning into your practice. Upon application, you are then able to experience and reflect to retain that which is reinforcing and adds a determinate level of value from your effort.
I enjoy many types of music. I listen to music every day. What if I had a theory that I wanted to learn to play the guitar to deepen my level of musical appreciation and enjoyment. Maybe even participate with or someday even compose some form of music for greater enjoyment and mastery. To move from this theory to practice and on to my intended impact, I should first learn to read music.
Well, I actually had this theory and acted upon it with great intentions when I took guitar lessons about the time I entered Junior High School. The theory began and then ended after about three or four weekly lessons. I didn’t learn to read music. I didn’t form what I was learning into a practice and I never realized the impact from the original theory. Instead, I put my musical aspirations back into the closet with my guitar and turned the radio back on. To deepen my “what not to do” learning in this case, I believe that my parents asked that I kindly repay them for the cost of the guitar that was stuffed back into the closet, virtually unused.
As you read the Applied Learning blog, the daily learning feeds are simply a referenced opportunity for you to reflect upon and feasibly add to your theory with why, how and what you will apply as you plan for and conduct your work. The application of what you are learning is entirely on you.
I write to coach with you by referencing the brilliance of others in their experiences and adding the lessons, value and impact that I have derived from these in my experiences. The purpose of this work for me is for you to create a greater impact from your learning practice. A learning that moves you toward your life’s purpose. For some, this will go no further than a class in Excel or a few guitar lessons. For others investing in moving their theories into a realized level of impact with others, the world can be a slightly better and more meaningful place. The more impact that is generated by you, the more significant the experience for us all.
“The only way we could remember would be by constant re-reading, for knowledge unused tends to drop out of mind. Knowledge used does not need to be remembered; practice forms habits and habits make memory unnecessary. The rule is nothing; the application is everything.” — Henry Hazlitt —