You can look inside a grand piano and comprehend that pressing a key will make a hammer hit a wire and a sound will come out; or understand that the page with the little dots on the lines indicate when to press which key and for now long — but that doesn’t mean that you can sit down and delicately pound out Scriabin’s Etude Op.8 No. 12.
The person who has read every book and watched every movie about kung fu will still be a complete novice when compared to the master who has painstakingly trained his body for decades, who has practiced the stances and moves until they were integrated into his muscular system, and has fully lived the experience of learning to do what once seemed impossible.
Just knowing about something isn’t enough.
Knowing is passive. Knowledge is active.
Knowledge requires effort. Practice.
Knowledge is earned.
Why do so few people reach their highest potential? Because it takes hard work.
I can read every self-growth book and know everything about myself, but if I’m not putting in the attention and effort of taking what I know and actually practicing and learning from it — I don’t have self-knowledge. I haven’t earned it. I could know what is needed to burst through my limitations and grow further than ever before, but if I’m not doing the work of putting it into practice, it won’t happen.
It takes admitting what I need work on, then actually working on it. The very idea.
It takes responsibility instead of blaming.
It’s being 100% in charge of how far I go in life, and how happy and fulfilled I am.
It takes being open to new ideas, viewpoints, and possibilities.
That all takes guts.
Self-knowledge is self-mastery, and mastery needs to be earned.