Theory or Practice?

I was once acquainted with the senior economic advisors to both the Labour and Conservative parties, they got on very well together, to the extent that one sent a message praising the other at his funeral.

But they held completely opposing views on how that nation should be run from an ‘economics’ point of view.

They had developed different theoretical standpoints from their research into the subject.

Two schools of thought.

But the thing is that this was all about theory, and although lots of testing had been done on the practicability of those theories, both claiming that if put into practice their way of doing things, their theory, would work better than the other’s, the measures proposed were developed from thinking about it and not from actually doing anything.

You see, our conscious minds are obsessed with logic.

  • We want everything to be ‘proved’.
  • We want to know ‘how it works’
  • We want to know ‘the process’
  • We want to know ‘what’s going to happen?’

And we spend years in ‘education’ learning the theory behind everything, learning what other people have already discovered and repeating it back to our teachers.

Apparently, this means we are ‘educated’, we have ‘knowledge’, we have the theory.

Trouble is that despite all this ‘education’ and ‘knowledge’ pumped into us, no-one actually tells us what the **** we are supposed to do with it or how we are supposed to use it.

You and I know that we can’t learn to ride a bike, swim, or drive a car from a book, from the theory, from the accumulated knowledge that exists about swimming, driving cars or riding bikes.

We just have to get out and do it.

I’ve just spent two weeks learning a powerful hypnosis technique that has been proven to solve pretty much any ‘problem’ that anyone has – in a few hours.

But there are no scientific papers on it, it wasn’t the result of someone’s PhD research, there is no written down ‘theory’ about how it works or why it should or should not work.

It just works.

It was developed by Marisa Peer, trained as a traditional hypnotherapist, who just tried a few different things and left out a few things that were in the ‘theory’ of how, and why hypnosis works.

The technique was developed over several years by ‘doing it’, through the reactions and effects it had on her clients, not from ‘learning’ about it from books and so forth.

And we were taught to do it the same way – by doing it, practice, practice, practice, until we all got it ‘right’ – or at least good enough to be let out into the outside world as certified therapists.

And it’s the same with lots of other disciplines except that in most cases there is a mass of theory in big thick textbooks about whatever it is – often written by people who have never actually ‘done’ whatever it is they are theorizing about and purporting to teach people about.

And the thing about ‘theory’ that most people forget is that it’s not ‘real’.

A theory is just an academic word for an ‘idea’, that’s all it is. Someone’s ‘idea’ about something explained at length. Great length in some cases.

And it doesn’t matter how much you talk or write about an idea, how many papers you write or lectures you give, it’s still just an idea.

Just imagine what would have happened if the Wright Brothers had put their ideas about making a flying machine down on paper, written lots of books and given lots of lectures about making a machine that could fly.

Flying would never have got off the ground.

But they didn’t.

They put their ideas straight into practice, they tried them out, they tested them, until eventually they took off.

Ideas are great, you and I have them all the time – but as ‘theory’ they are absolutely useless – we have to put them into practice, to try them out, to see if they work, and then develop them to work better.

Despite the resistance of our logical conscious minds that keep coming up with the ‘buts’, and the ‘what if it goes wrong’ and the ‘it’ll never work because it’s never been done before’, we need to set our subconscious intuition free and just give it a go.

Whatever it is, good idea, bad idea – we’ll soon find out.

So we can focus on the good ideas and put them into practice.

And if we really want to write a book on the theory we can do that afterwards.

Not before which is usually the case.

There are a lot of people out there selling theories that don’t work, ideas that haven’t been properly tested – especially about marketing in the new internet driven world.

Things that seem like a good idea at the time but haven’t been turned into a tried and tested practical application.

That haven’t been turned into something that works – in practice.

Got any good ideas?

Try them out.

See if they work.

Modify them

Make them work better

Or if they don’t work, bin them and try another idea.

Don’t just think, write and talk about it.

Try it.

Try it now.