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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.

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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?”

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“Of course, it is.”

“Based on what?”

Pause…

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..?”

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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.

Conclusion

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 unsplash.com

Reference

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

More by this author

Gray Hughes

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

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Last Updated on June 1, 2021

How to Use the Learning Style Quiz to Accelerate Your Learning

How to Use the Learning Style Quiz to Accelerate Your Learning

If you’ve ever taken a learning style quiz, you know that the idea is to find your most prominent learning style. The question then becomes: what do you do with that information?

A textbook definition of learning styles is:[1]

“Characteristic cognitive, effective, and psycho-social behaviors that serve as relatively stable indicators of how learners perceive, interact with, and respond to the learning environment.”

That’s a fancy way of saying that different individuals interact with their learning environment in different ways. You’ll often see learning styles in conjunction with higher education and other types of cognitive learning courses. The theory is that, if the teacher is aware of the various ways in which people perceive information, they can differentiate the instruction to meet those needs.

To the casual learner, understanding your learning style can help you find the best way to learn new information. There are seven different learning styles, and everybody uses a little of each one (on a sliding scale).

In this article we will talk about how many different learning styles there are (and what they mean), get you to try the learning style quiz, and find out how to use your specific learning style to improve your life.

The 7 Learning Styles

The following is an overview of the various learning styles[2]:

1. Visual / Spatial

A visual learner thinks in pictures. They prefer having illustrations, pictures, and other types of images to help form a mental image of what they are learning. Visual learners are typically spatial thinkers.

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2. Aural / Auditory-Musical

An aural learner learns through music and rhythm. While actual music isn’t necessarily required to reach an aural learner, it certainly is more effective.

3. Verbal / Linguistic

A verbal learner prefers using words, both in speech and in reading. A person with this learning style might prefer a good lecture or textbook to more visual and auditory styles.

4. Physical / Kinesthetic

A physical learner prefers using their body, hands, and sense of touch. A person with this learning style is more of a “hands-on” learner who prefers to learn by doing.

5. Logical / Mathematical

A logical learner prefers information to flow from one thought or idea to the next. A person with this learning style prefers mathematics, logic, and reasoning.

6. Social / Interpersonal

A social learner prefers to learn in groups or through social interaction. A person with this learning style usually prefers group-work and project-based learning.

7. Solitary / Intrapersonal

A solitary learner prefers to work alone. People with this learning style are great at teaching themselves and often prefer self-study and online courses to more traditional learning methods.

Did you see yourself in more than one learning style? If so, then you understand that no one person has just one learning style. Each of the above styles exist in everybody to a certain degree.

If you take a learning style quiz, you might see a certain style emerge as the strongest (and, thus, more preferred). However, that does not mean that person cannot learn in one of the other ways listed.

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Learning Styles and the Brain

Learning styles influence and guide the way you learn. They affect the way you internally represent your experiences, remember information, or even dictate the words you choose[3].

Learning style quiz: Dunn & Dunn learning styles brain map [Source: Kos, (2017)]

     

    Research suggests that each learning style makes use of a different part of the brain. Here is the breakdown for each learning style:

    • Visual: Visual learners use the occipital and parietal lobes at the back of the brain.
    • Aural: Aural content is mostly processed through the temporal lobes (especially the right temporal lobe for music).
    • Verbal: Verbal content is processed through the temporal and frontal lobes.
    • Kinesthetic: Kinesthetic learning is processed using the cerebellum and the motor cortex.
    • Logical: Logical learning is processed through the parietal lobes (specifically using the left side of the brain as it pertains to logical thinking).
    • Social: Social learning happens in the frontal and temporal lobes.

    How to Use the Learning Style Quiz to Improve Your Life

    Perhaps you didn’t realize that people had different learning styles before you read this article. Maybe you already knew about learning styles.

    Whatever the case, you can learn a lot about yourself just by taking a short learning styles quiz. But what do you do with the knowledge you get from the results?

    Here are some tips:

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    Visual Learner

    If you’re a visual learner, focus on how you can make the material you’re learning more visually appealing[4].

    1. Stay Organized

    If a learning style quiz tells you you’re a visual learner, focus on getting your material organized. Your brain will likely feel overwhelmed if your notes are chaotic.

    2. Use Color

    Try color coding information in order to help your mind visually separate each bit. For example, if you’re studying for a history test, highlight dates in yellow, people in blue, and places in pink. This technique will set important pieces of information off in your mind and make them easier to remember.

    3. Watch Videos

    Ditch the audio-books and podcasts and either read or watch videos and lectures online. Your strength is found in visual explanation — seeing the information in a book, diagram, or demonstration.

    Auditory Learner

    If you’re an auditory learner according to your learning style quiz, focus on using your ability to hear to take in information[5].

    1. Limit Distracting Noises

    Traffic outside your window, students speaking nearby, or music blaring from a speaker won’t help you while studying. You’re already prone to take in the sounds around you, so if you want to learn something specific, find a quiet place to work where you can limit distracting noises.

    2. Read Aloud

    If you’ve taken notes in class, try reading them aloud to yourself. You can even create jingles or rhymes to help you remember specific bits of information.

    3. Record Lectures

    Instead of just simply writing notes as your professor or boss speaks, record the lecture or conversation and listen back later. This will help solidify the information with aural cues. Also, try speaking with classmates or coworkers to help “fill in” the information.

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    Kinesthetic Learners

    Your learning style quiz tells you that you’re a kinesthetic learner. Here are some study tips to help you[6].

    1. Teach Someone

    After you’ve studied the target information, try teaching it to someone else. This dynamic activity will help turn on your ability to recall the information.

    2. Be Hands-on

    Using your hands to create something will help your brain work through specific problems. If you need to remember 20 vocabulary words, try drawing a map and placing the words in specific places. This is related to the idea of a memory palace, which you can learn about here.

    Bonus tip: Try chewing gum, as the movement may help activate learning centers in your brain.

    3. Take Breaks

    As a kinesthetic learner, your mind won’t like being in one static position for very long. Take time to get up and walk around or do another physical activity for a few minutes between study sessions.

    Also be aware that most of the learning styles can fit into one of those three categories. You are essentially going to be one of these three types of learning styles paired with an interpersonal or intrapersonal preference. In other words, you either like working with others or you don’t.

    If you’re ready to take your learning to the next level with your learning style, check out the video below for some more tips and tricks:

    Final Thoughts

    Have you taken the learning style quiz yet? If not, scroll down this page a bit and try the quiz now!

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    If you spend just five to ten minutes on this quiz, it may give you insight into learning styles that will change your life.

    More on How to Use the Learning Style Quiz

    Featured photo credit: Eliabe Costa via unsplash.com

    Reference

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