The Keys to a Better Life Aren’t Available Online
When I first moved to Germany and started learning German, I would spend hours googling words and researching the language.
How do I craft a perfect German email? What do I have to say to get my points across perfectly? Where can I go to get my work permit? Which German course is the best?
The same thing when I decided I wanted to start a side hustle.
I spent roughly four years “researching” what I could do and how I should do it.
I asked the search engine gods questions like:
- Should I start a blog?
- How can I make digital products?
- Who else can I learn from?
- What is the quickest way to get rich?
And on and on and on.
In hindsight, all that research seems like such a waste.
I’m sure the time wasn’t entirely wasted. It satiated my curiosities and kept me entertained. And naturally, I picked up some valuable ‘just-in-case’ info.
But progress? Nah.
No progress was made until I actually started doing.
During those years, I didn’t make any progress because I hadn’t yet learned this key secret to life. Even though I came across the point over 1000 times, it never sank in. It’s one of those things that we tend to need to discover on our own:
There are no answers. Just do the work.
In Nicolas Cole’s book “The Art and Business of Online Writing,” he explains:
“The number of hours I spend consuming should never equal or exceed the number of hours I spend creating.”
Of course, he’s absolutely right. You can read all of the blog posts. You can listen to all of the podcasts. You can watch all of the TED videos on YouTube, and take a thousand online courses.
But none of it will help.
You can only make progress after you start to take action. You will only find answers after you actually start doing. The knowledge gained from those who’ve gone before can help, but it’s not a substitute for initial action.
Do you know what actually helped me learn German? How I actually achieved fluency?
I started doing. Even when it was hard, and felt awkward, and scared the shit out of me. Even when I would sweat through an undershirt and a dress shirt during a job interview in German. Even when I knew I was saying the wrong words and had horrible pronunciation.
But I kept at it and made progress. And that progress is the key to a better life.
Now go take that first step.