I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who had practiced one kick 10,000 times.
– Bruce Lee
The first time I read something I can get some good information. The second time I read it, it starts to sink in and transformation takes place. The third time I read it, it starts to crystallize inside me.
Once for information.
Twice for transformation.
Three times for crystallization.
There’s a fallacy that growth, forward progress and success is about getting more information. If I just read enough books, go to enough seminars, listen to enough audios, watch the right videos, then I’ll get the information that I need to be successful.
That’s why the self-help industry, and the info-marketers in particular, are making billions of dollars. People go from one how-to system to another, from one seminar to another, from one home study course to another, looking for the magic information bullet.
It doesn’t work that way. It’s not about information. If information worked to change our lives, we’d all be beautiful, healthy, thin, rich and popular. Transformation starts to take place the second time you go through the material. And the real shifts happen on the third and fourth time through, as you are practicing what you learn.
As Bruce Lee said, the formidable opponent is not the one who has learned 10,000 kicks. It’s the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.
You don’t need to read 10 sales books to be successful in sales. You don’t even need to read everything in one book. You can take one chapter and practice it over and over until you become formidable.
Sometimes in my emails, I’m sending out what is (hopefully) good information. But often I’m focused on creating distinctions. Distinctions are the insights that come, the things that you see that you can’t unsee. Like how gravity works. If you let go of a book, it’s going to fall. You don’t know it because you learned that as a fact in school; you know it because you’ve seen how gravity works and you’ve internalized it as part of your reality. Believe it or not, before Galileo, people didn’t understand quite how gravity worked. But after Galileo showed them, they saw it and it couldn’t be unseen.
So if you read something to help you with your business, read it from a different place. Create a space in your reading where insights can come and “ahas” can happen. Slow down. If something moves you, read it again. Then again. And practice and apply what you read. Because otherwise it’s just information.
Steve Johnsen is a marketing strategist, a business coach, and the Founder of Cloud Mountain Marketing. He is also the author of the Amazon #1 best-seller, 5 Easy Steps to Make Your Website Your #1 Employee.