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IF YOU KNOW AND DO NOT ACT, KNOWLEDGE IS WASTED – Snippet of Drop the ME and Focus on the OTHERS Book by Di Tran

“I believe that it is better to know less and act on what is known rather than to spend your life learning and only act on a small percent of that accumulated knowledge. Studying and education are often used as an excuse for not acting.” Mom stated this while elaborating on the importance of acting in relation to learning.

As a computer engineer professional, there is a term called “fail fast,” which refers to developing software in small chunks and testing each chunk quickly as soon as it is completed. This carries with it the expectation of failing but allows engineers to fix it immediately. Satisfactory results are better controlled when tested. Throughout my life, many others surrounding me have confirmed the following guiding principles to be true:

  1. Hearing does not mean listening.
  2. Listening does not mean understanding.
  3. Understanding does not mean you will act.
  4. Acting on your understanding does not mean getting your desirable result.
  5. Getting your desirable result does not always mean what you expect.
  6. What you expect does not mean what you need.
  7. What you need is often faith in God.
  8. Your faith in God gives you peace and happiness in life.

These eight steps of guiding principles provide me a path to either work from top down or from bottom up, and both will take us to the center where the “me” or self stands. The me stands in the center surrounded by others, especially at Step 4; it is all about acting even when you are in doubt. “Son, the worst position to be in is standing in the middle of a two-directional road, and being undecided as to which direction to take,” Mom taught us. “Not making a decision will deteriorate a mind quickly. That leads to stress from my own experience—knowing but not acting. The key to this is that there is no such thing as knowing enough. “Risk taking is part of life in all things we do, Son. There has never been a time that I do things with full understanding and know I will receive a guaranteed result. It is always a leap of faith when we take on challenges and do things.”


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