Published on April 26, 2021

7 Tips On Putting Knowledge Into Action

7 Tips On Putting Knowledge Into Action

Knowledge is one thing, but putting that knowledge into action is another. A pile of unread self-help books at the side of an unmade bed or clothes draped over a cross-trainer are useful clues—”the road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

Knowing what is “in our own best interests” is the easy part. If you exercise regularly and have a well-balanced diet, you will be healthier. That’s knowledge, but it’s not much use unless it is partnered with wisdom, commitment, self-worth, action, and accountability.

They say “Knowledge is power”, but only by putting knowledge into action can you harness that potential. The best place to start is with yourself. The only way to fulfill your potential is to use what you know about yourself.

So, here are seven tips to help you transform knowledge into action.

1. Examine Your Thinking

Knowledge is a useful tool, but how effectively it is put into action depends on how it is applied. You need to discriminate and contextualize knowledge if it is to serve you well.

Just as information for information’s sake has limited value, knowledge on its own can sometimes hold you back by limiting your intuition and common sense. The highly developed human brain can cloud your judgment and rationalize your behavior with damaging results. Decades of reinforcement create beliefs that are so imprinted on your consciousness that they become utterly unquestionable.

The ego, which is attached to the status quo, aims to keep these “certainties” in place to avoid new perspectives and choices. The ego is terrified of change—even change for the better—since its comfort zone is based on familiarity, however debilitating it may be.[1]

2. Value Yourself

Deep down, you know what’s best for yourself. But how much do you value yourself? The extent to which your actions are congruent with what you know is good for you is the extent to which you value yourself.

Whether you are out of balance with work or lifestyle, it is your self-worth compass that will get you back on track—but only if you set it free.


All too often, old negative feelings of unworthiness prevent self-care and investing in your own well-being. If you value yourself enough, you can break free from these beliefs, make better choices, and act based on knowledge rather than myths.

3. Hire a Life Coach

The role of a life coach is not to make you feel better. It’s to help you see better. Most breakthroughs during a coaching session are the result of the client being able to see their thinking for what it is—completely illogical and fatally flawed. Positive thoughts and potential solutions are often dismissed as your own unchallenged assumptions block your path to a better way.

The ego breathes a sigh of relief: no need to change, to challenge the received wisdom, to take a chance, not even to resolve a chronic issue. It’s too hard. In fact, it’s impossible, so you can stay exactly where you are: stuck, a prisoner of your own thoughts and beliefs—beliefs which can be used as excuses for doing nothing.

But what if the belief isn’t true or, at least, isn’t true anymore? What if there’s another way of looking at this? You need to break this chronic cycle that prevents you from doing what’s best for you. But trying to see an existing paradigm from a new perspective can be like trying to tickle yourself.

The transformational coach’s role is—in essence—to disrupt the negative reflex actions of your thinking, to help you break the cycle that prevents you from doing what’s best for you, and to put your knowledge into action.

“I can’t do anything about that.”

“Why not?”

“Well, because…”

“Is that true?”


“Of course, it is.”

“Based on what?”


The pause is the chink of light that may open a door to the breakthrough. It means that a certainty is being questioned and a new perspective becomes a possibility. Only through disruption can age-old thought patterns be broken. The block fades away and the door is opened.

“Yes, why not? I could at least try this instead. It couldn’t be any worse than it is now. What have I got to lose?”

This is how you can transform paralysis and procrastination into purpose, moving forward with self-empowerment, commitment, and turning knowledge into positive action. In a matter of a few weeks, working with a coach as your thinking partner can facilitate huge changes and seismic shifts in your life.

“Problems can only be resolved at the level beneath that at which they manifest themselves.”—John Whitmore, Coaching for Performance.

“If you want to make minor changes in your life, work on your behaviour. If you want significant, quantum breakthroughs, work on your paradigms.”—Stephen R. Covey

4. Stop Procrastinating

Procrastination can vary from mildly irritating to devastatingly paralyzing. The engine that drives procrastination is fear of the unknown: “If I choose this option, what if..?”


Another contributor is the perceived need for control—specifically to control the future, including other people’s emotions and actions. Delaying decision-making based on the inability to predict or control the future is about as irrational as it gets. But then, humans are not rational.[2]

Then, there is the fear of regret: “If I get this wrong, I’ll feel terrible. I’ll blame myself.”

This is invariably based on experience and adds to a vicious cycle of negative emotions:

expectation > disappointment > judgement > self-judgement

There is a solution: ask yourself what is the worst thing that can happen. Feel into your major organs—mind, heart, and gut—and do something.

5. Trust Yourself

If you are one of those people who tend to dwell on previous decisions that resulted in a less-than-perfect outcome, take a piece of paper and start writing a list of the ones that worked out well. You may be surprised as the list becomes longer and longer.

Accept that due to the variables that are completely out of your control, sometimes things don’t work out exactly as planned. However, when you look at your past actions based on your knowledge, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how successful you’ve been.

So, pat yourself on the back, recognize your past accomplishments, and have faith in your ability to turn knowledge into action.

“At the centre of your being, you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.”—Lao Tzu

6. Improve Your Time Management

Time management is boring. It’s mundane and repetitive. It’s for other people, not you. You’re creative. You live in the moment. Worst of all, time management is controlling and restrictive. You need space to express yourself organically in your own unique way.

On the other hand, you hate it when you leave things to the last minute—something comes up, then you’re in a rush and feel unprepared. This creates stress, and it’s ten minutes into your presentation before you’re really in the flow.

Come to think of it, knowing those tedious admin tasks are yet to be done kind of hangs over you like a cloud and dilutes the pleasure you get from the things that you really enjoy. Is time management controlling? Or could it be liberating?

7. Work With an Accountability Partner

Whether it’s mindfulness or the gym, committing to your own well-being can be hard, and actually following through on that commitment is often even more challenging.

Having an accountability partner is a great way of keeping on track. It may even introduce some healthy competition. The important thing is that it gets the job done. Not only will you achieve your well-being objectives, but you will also enhance your self-worth, thereby increasing your chances of success with the next activity you choose.


By having awareness of your knowledge, whether it derives from formal training, work, or life experience, you are in a better position to use it in context.

You can use what you know not only for absolute decision-making and action but also for weighing up the probability of outcomes. With the confidence of this awareness, you will find putting knowledge into action empowering, enjoyable, and rewarding.

More Tips on Effective Learning

Featured photo credit: Madara Parma via


[1] Forbes: This Is How Your Thoughts Become Your Reality
[2] Association of Psychological Science: Why Wait? The Science Behind Procrastination

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Gray Hughes

Life coach (using the motivational 3 c's Model) and writer.

The 5 Areas of Personal Growth (And How to Improve Them) 7 Tips On Putting Knowledge Into Action Why Feeling Uncomfortable Is a Sign To Improve Yourself How to Cure Boredom: 20 Things to Reignite Your Life 5 Ways to Make Good Choices That Align With Your Life’s Goals

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Last Updated on August 11, 2021

23 Killer Sites for Free Online Education Anyone Can Use

23 Killer Sites for Free Online Education Anyone Can Use

Whether you’re five or ninety five, the internet has a lot to offer. Particularly when the topic is education, the resources on the internet are endless. Best of all, many high quality sites are completely free. From history to coding, excellent, free online education awaits on the following 23 sites.

1. Coursera

Coursera is a website that partners with universities and organizations around the world. This brings a wide variety of topics and perspectives to one searchable database.

Coursera is a powerful tool for free online education and includes courses from many top universities, museums and trusts. This gives the site an extremely wide range of in-depth courses.

Coursera is extremely useful if you’re looking to study many different topics, or want courses from different schools and groups. However, the free courses are now quite limited, so you’ll have to

2. Khan Academy

Partnering with many post secondary schools, Khan Academy offers a useable, well-organized interface. Also curating many courses from around the web, Khan Academy offers impressive depth on many different subjects.

Among the more well-known educational sites, Khan Academy is also incredibly user-friendly, which may make it easier to keep learning goals. If you’re looking for a free online education, you can’t go wrong with Khan Academy.

3. Open Culture Online Courses

If you are struggling to find exactly the material you are looking for, try Open Culture’s listing of free online education courses. The page highlights 1000 lectures, videos, and podcasts from universities around the world.

The site features a lot of material found only on universities’ private sites, all in easy-to-browse categories. This means you can find hundreds of university courses without having to visit and search each university’s site.

Open Culture’s list features courses from England, Australia, Wales, and many state universities around the United States. It’s a very helpful resource for finding many courses in one area of study.

4. Udemy 

Udemy’s free courses are similar in concept to Coursera’s but additionally allows users to build custom courses from lessons.


Working with many top professors and schools, the site mixes the customizable platform of other sites with a heavy emphasis on top-quality content. This is another site, however, that mixes free and paid content.

5. Lifehack Fast Track Class

Lifehack believes in skills that multiply your time, energy, and overall quality of life.

In this rapidly changing world, traditional education skills just don’t cut it anymore. You can’t afford to take years learning a skill you’ll never really practice. Besides offering some paid courses that will help you become a better self, it offers a list of free courses which aim to train some of the Core Life Multipliers including:

These are cross-functional skills that work across many aspects of life.

6. Academic Earth

Another site with courses from many different schools is Academic Earth. Much like the three sites above, Academic Earth brings together top notch courses from many different sources and focuses on offering a wide variety of subjects.

Academic Earth lists courses by subject and school, so it might be easier to find what you’re looking for.

7. edX

Another great option for free online education is edX. Also bringing together courses from many different schools, the site has impressive, quality information for everyone. edX covers a great range of topics from universities such as Harvard, MIT, and Berkeley, meaning a high-quality, free online education is entirely possible here.

8. Alison

Unlike the previous sites on this list, Alison is a free education site offering certification in some areas. Alison offers courses mainly in business, technology, and health, but also includes language learning courses.

It’s a great option if users need a professional certificate for their learning, as Alison also offers school curriculum courses.

9. iTunesU Free Courses

A very convenient place for free online education is iTunesU, because it integrates seamlessly with your iPod or any app-ready Apple mobile device. On an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch, users download the iTunesU app.


Desktop users can access iTunesU on the upper right hand corner of the iTunes Store. iTunesU is also convenient because the store is categorized much like iTunes.

Users can search learning materials in many different ways, including by genre and topic. However, courses are often a mix of free podcasts or videos and paid content.

iTunesU does include courses on a variety of topics, but it does not integrate with Android, Google or Windows mobile devices.

10. Stanford Online

Your hub for all the online offerings from Stanford University, Stanford Online offers self-paced and session-based courses. While Coursera features some courses from Stanford, many classes are only available via other hosts. Some courses require iTunes, but most are completed in your web browser.

Stanford Online is a great site for high-quality courses, though the topics are somewhat limited compared to sites partnered with more than one school. If you’re looking for free courses, make sure to mark the “free” option on the left-hand side.

11. Open Yale Courses

Open Yale Courses echoes Stanford Online, in that it offers only courses from Yale. While the site is similarly limited to topics taught at the school, Open Yale Courses offers a lot of videos of actual campus lectures. The availability of videos makes the site a great option if you’re looking for quality courses but learn better by watching than by reading.

12. UC Berkeley Class Central

Much like the other schools on this list, UC Berkeley has a variety of free online education options. The school has slightly fewer courses than the schools above, but it includes some supplementary lectures, webcasts, and RSS Feeds, making it easy to keep up with the topics you choose.

13. MIT OpenCourseWare

Similarly, MIT offers a variety of free courses. The school has a comparable number of courses to the schools above, and it includes very in-depth course materials on the subjects available. MIT also offers free RSS feeds, a convenient way to continue learning.

14. Carnegie Mellon Open Learning Initiative

Carnegie Mellon’s free online education site is comparable with the other school’s on this list. However, Open Learning Initiative also covers a smaller range of topics, but for the topics that are covered, impressive, in-depth material is available.

15. Codecademy

Codecademy is a website dedicated specifically to teaching coding. Where other coding sites follow an example/practice session workflow, Codecademy includes a live practice window. This means you can practice coding while still viewing the lesson material.


The courses at Codecademy are well-written and easy to follow, and the website is organized very nicely. Codecademy features a centralized dashboard where you can monitor your progress, and it organizes lessons into complete modules. This lets you learn an entire language without needing to pick the next course manually.

16. Code

Code is another website focused on coding and app writing. A site with high-quality courses, Code also features learning options for kids.

In addition to kid-friendly courses, Code offers free online education classes on a wide variety of technology topics. These classes include app writing, robotics, and Javascript.

Most of the courses are also geared in a such a way that they can be useful in a classroom setting. This makes Code a great resource for harder to find coding topics, as well as various learning settings.

17. University of Oxford Podcasts

The University of Oxford features many different podcasts. Most are public lecture series or lectures from visiting professors, with several different recordings available.

The advantage to this particular site is that podcasts are organized into series, making it easy to subscribe to multiple lectures on one topic. This is another great site for thoroughly in-depth lectures.

18. BBC Podcasts

For the more casual learner, the BBC offers a wide variety of podcasts on many different topics. Most podcasts are updated weekly and focus on everything from finance, to sports, to current events.

Through the World Service line of podcasts, there are also many in different languages. The focus of these podcasts are less in-depth and theory based, which may be more accessible to the average person.

19. TED-Ed

Another great destination for more general learning and free online education is TED-Ed. From the same people that brought you the all-encompassing, motivational web series comes a site chocked full of educational videos. Most include impressive animation, and all are ten minutes long or less.

Not only is TED-Ed an excellent site for the curious, but it also includes supplemental materials and quizzes on the videos. This makes the site extremely useful in formal education settings, as well as in entertaining ways to brush up on new discoveries and topics.


20. LessonPaths

LessonPaths is another great tool for those looking for a more usable and convenient way to access learning material. On this site, users create link playlists of their favorite learning materials from other sites. Users then rank these collections, making it easy to find many different high-quality, accessible sources on a given topic.

21. Memrise

Another impressive free online education site offering ease of use and convenience is Memrise. Available both on desktop and as an app, Memrise is a particularly powerful tool if you are studying a language. The site encompasses many other topics as well, though some of the course material is user generated content.

Part of what makes Memrise special is their integration of games into the learning materials, mixing learning with entertainment.

22. National Geographic Kids

The kids site for National Geographic is another site that makes free online education applicable for younger users. For those looking for kid-friendly education, a large variety of games, puzzles, videos and photos keep kids interested on this site.

National Geographic Kids doesn’t organize learning into courses, making materials available by topic and medium instead. This makes National Geographic Kids a good option for those looking for a more casual learning environment.

23. Fun Brain

Fun Brain is another great option for kids looking for free online education, as it focuses on games and fun puzzles. Particularly focused on math and reading, Fun Brain’s game-based approach can be valuable if the child in question struggles to pay attention.

Fun Brain offers rewards and challenges as well, and it is another site aimed at a casual learning experience for kids K-8.

The Bottom Line

With so many amazing free online education resources, everyone has the ability to boost their skills and knowledge. Whether you’re interested in picking up some interesting trivia for your next party, improve your resume with some coding or business skills, or become a more well-rounded person, these resources are perfect for you.

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Featured photo credit: Dai KE via

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