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What We Do With What We Know

I train people for a living and the longer that I've been in the profession, the more I've come to realize that it's not what we know, it's what we do with what we know and how consistent we are in doing it.

There's the adage that 'Knowledge is power'. I agree, but more accurately said, 'Knowledge is power when acted upon'. Searching and finding knowledge is now easier than it's ever been in the history of humanity. Not too long ago one would seek out knowledge by spending hours researching at a library or paging through encyclopedias. 

Perhaps the downfall to the ease of finding knowledge is that we think that finding it is enough. Many times, perhaps it is. However, for the stuff that really matters in life, finding it is the first step. We must then act upon it. The majority of behavioural changes that happen don't occur simply because we know something, it's because we acted upon what we learned.

Mindfulness is a prime example of this. I love learning about it, it's history, and the many benefits to human existence that it can bring. This is all at an intellectual level. What needs to happen with mindfulness is one must experience it, over and over. The experiential level, that's when you become aware of things that can't be explained in words or connected by logical thought. These are the experiences that have a lasting impact on changing the brain in positive ways.

I used to be quite sure that mindfulness was a good tool to help find peace with OCD. I'm now absolutely convinced that it is. The more I practice the more sure I become. 

I'm on medication and regularly see a therapist; both important things for my well being. Perhaps one or both are necessities for getting better in combination with practicing mindfulness. I don't have that answer. I do know that the frequency at which I see my therapist is much less than it used to be and my visits now are usually for maintenance vs. 'solving a bunch of OCD problems'. At my last appointment my therapist commented on the significant change he's seen happen with me. I attribute it to experiencing mindfulness and I think he seems to agree as well.

Have enough faith in the process that you begin practicing it. It's not going to change you overnight but it will change you for the better. Don't worry about it exposing some deep and dark side to you that you don't know about or don't want to see. You are inherently good, kind, and just. That's what may be hiding from you if you don't already know this about yourself. 


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