There's a great divide between theory and practice. You get information from outside, and mental investigation enables you to understand it. But authentic knowing is far more than just understanding. The next step to mastery is to get your own experience, the energy you put into practice makes your knowing authentic.

Experience needs action, it's personal - an inside job. You know it's an inside job because you can't get it from another or give it away, you have to gain experience yourself. It's just like exercise, delegation not allowed! As with the other levels, willingness to invest more energy is the key to this step to mastery.

The Benefits of Failure
No matter how much you think you know, mistakes will occur as you practice and gain experience. Failure is just part of the process, the word F-A-I-L is actually an acronym for First Attempts In Learning.

Since experience includes finding out what doesn't work - being wrong - how can mistakes be a problem? When you've tried and discarded enough ways of what doesn't work, you're left with what does! Mistakes are an inevitable part of gaining experience, the secret of success is to realize they're entirely okay rather than wrong.

In gaining experience, you find out that, despite thinking that this should work, it doesn't. You need something else. In racking your brains wondering what would work, you allow your intuition to come in, and it suggests trying that instead. It's often more than just the next logical step, it's a knowing that will work despite the lack of evidence to support such a conclusion yet.

Do You Know or just Know About it?
You may have heard someone say: "I know I should stop smoking" when he instead means, "I know about stopping smoking."

Anyone saying this is saying he hasn't stopped smoking, so he doesn't have the authentic knowledge which comes with experience. Yet this step to mastery is to gain experience. If he really did authentically know, he would have already stopped.

If he has put in the effort to investigate the benefits of stopping and realized it does apply to him, then he's at the next step down, understanding - and is planning to stop. If he only knows about stopping then his self sabotage means he only has the information, he's yet one more level down, and doesn't yet appreciate the benefits would apply to him.

Do you Do It?
If you do something when appropriate, then you authentically know. If you do not do it when you should, then you do NOT really know. Although you have the information, you only understand. You'll change your life when you get that thinking you know does not mean you know.

This level, authentic knowing, requires you to get your hands dirty and do it yourself. Experience takes physical energy, not just mental effort. It creates an internal shift that you can feel and gives you real confidence, not just assumed. If you're sufficiently aware, you can tell when someone is preaching without experience, their words lack depth and authenticity.

Authentic knowing is wisdom, the secret of success. Wisdom is personal, it can't be given or learned, and that which is given is never wisdom.

Awareness Makes It Easier
When you're aware that moving to the next level takes energy, then you realize that your time and effort is needed for each next step to mastery. Which makes it easier to put in the effort to deepen your authentic knowing.

There are many ways to put in the required energy. Experience, practice, doing it, exercising, failing, making mistakes, repeating, applying, studying, learning, action...

Now you understand why so many teachers and consultants put in major effort, yet find that their clients have no long-term benefit from their efforts. Why so many coaches are not that successful in the long-term. Why so many students fail at their endeavors. Experience can't be borrowed, learned, or assimilated, you have to do it yourself.

But wisdom is not mastery, the last step. Stay tuned.

© Copyright worldwide Cris Baker, All rights reserved. Republishing welcomed under Creative Commons noncommercial no derivatives license preserving all links intact, so please +1 and share this widely!

Food for Thought
"The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge."

- Professor Stephen W. Hawking, PhD, eminent British mathematician, black hole theorist, Cambridge University Research Director. Awarded the US Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009

Author's Bio: 

Cris Baker has much practice in overcoming adversity, he's been screwing things up for years! Why suffer the consequences of your own mistakes? Now you can benefit from real knowledge, crucial know-how gained from his vast experience with extensive pain and suffering!

You'll find enormous joy in overcoming your self sabotage; check out the secrets of success at Life Strategies, explore the steps to mastery and discover how to change your life!