“The possession of knowledge, unless accompanied by a manifestation and expression in Action, is like the hoarding of precious metals-a vain and foolish thing. Knowledge, like wealth, is intended for Use. The Law of Use is Universal, and he who violates it suffers by reason of his conflict with natural forces.”
Learning to effectively apply knowledge is absolutely crucial—having all of the knowledge in the world is no good if you don’t take ACTION on it. And yet, what do most men do?
Most men hoard knowledge. They read all of my articles on generating wealth, but never take action and actually generate wealth. They read my articles on dating advice, but never actually go out and talk to girls. Maybe they even buy my eBooks, but they just read them and then forget about them.
Today, I would like to explore a concept known as the “Law of Use,” which is referenced in the Kybalion, a collection of Hermetic teachings from ancient Egypt.
Don’t Hoard Knowledge
One of the biggest mistakes that men make is they hoard knowledge; this can be relevant to anything, whether it’s fitness, finances, or happiness. The most common place that I see this, however, is with women.
So many men spend HOURS reading articles and watching videos that talk about how to approach girls, how to talk to girls, how to flirt with girls, and how to seduce girls, but they NEVER actually apply what they learn.
The reason why is quite obvious: they’re scared shitless. A lifetime of negative experiences with women, negative social conditioning, and dysfunctional emotional habits, has led them to be terrified of biting the bullet.
I know this, because it was me for a while. I must have accumulated at least 1,000 hours worth of game knowledge before I actually mustered up the courage to approach a woman—and do you know what? I wish that I didn’t do this.
The reason why is because theory is only valuable when it’s backed by experience. In other words, if you have a bunch of ideas in your head about how to interact with girls, but you don’t have any contextual evidence to really UNDERSTAND the theory.
I talk a lot about being assertive with women on my blog, and rightfully so. Most men nowadays are far too meek and cowardly when it comes to relationships, and this lack of masculinity quite literally ruins their lives.
So, after spending literally hundreds of hours soaking up theory about how men should be assertive, some guy may think: “Okay, it’s time to go give this a try!” They walk up to some girl and are WAY TOO AGGRESSIVE, to the point where they scare the shit out of her, and then she runs away.
“Haha, that must be a shit test!” he thinks, and runs after her. She gets even more scared, because she wonders why this overly sexually aggressive guy is following her, and ends up smacking him in the face and yelling at him to fuck off.
“God, you bitch!” he thinks. “I’m just trying to be a normal man, UGH!” he scream as he walks off. Do you see what happened here? He completely misapplied the principles I teach, because he doesn’t understand HOW to apply them.
In other words, he has a ton of theory, but it isn’t backed by any actual experience or context. It isn’t enough to just know something. You must also know how to apply it.
But, in this example, the man wouldn’t know that he misapplied the principles—he would probably think that he applied them correctly, because his mind has been poisoned by too much knowledge and very little action.
As embarrassing as this is to admit, this was me. When I first got into game, it was extremely common for me to interpret disgust or disinterest as a shit test, or to think that “be assertive” means to be an overly aggressive creep.
This is why it is absolutely crucial that you don’t get stuck in “analysis paralysis.” It’s important that you actually apply the knowledge that you receive, or else it will corrupt your mind—you’ll end up living in a fantasy theory world rather than REALITY.
A lot of the time guys get stuck in what’s known as analysis paralysis, which is where they proactively procrastinate by sucking up tons of knowledge, but they never actually get around to applying it.
This is a very easy trap to fall into, because you feel like you’re making progress. You feel like you’re accomplishing something by reading that 64th book on happiness.
But the truth is that you’re NOT making progress, you’re just using reading as an excuse to avoid actually applying the knowledge that you learn. How many of you have read someone’s advice on how to be happy before?
Ask yourself: did you actually apply what the author said you should apply? If he advocated that you start forming close relationships with friends, or that you start eating healthy, did you actually do so?
Or did you just say “Hmm, that’s interesting,” and then click onto the next article or watch the next YouTube video? If you’re like most men, 99% of you probably did just this.
Do not get stuck in this trap—yes, obviously preparing and arming yourself with knowledge is a very worthwhile pursuit, but having too much knowledge is actually WORSE than having too little.
If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know that I like to use the examples of Jon and Jerry to illustrate complicated concepts. Let’s see what happens when Jerry gets stuck in analysis paralysis, and Jon just fucking takes action.
Jerry’s Stuck in Theory
Jerry decides to start a business one day, but he can’t figure out what. “Hmm, I should do some research,” he thinks. So he starts researching different trends and profit margins on the internet, and the more he learns, the more he realizes he doesn’t know.
“Wow,” he thinks. “I’ll have to learn a lot more if I want to be successful.” So, Jerry pays $1,000 for a subscription to some business building program, and takes ample notes. He learns all about supply chain integration, how to effectively build an email list, he learns about marketing tactics, and he learns about a sales funnel.
But, again, the more he learns, the more he realizes that he doesn’t know. “Wow, I should plan how to launch my business…but first I need to know which business I want to get into!” So, he does even more research to figure out which industry is profitable.
After spending literally months researching different industries, from the food industry to the information technologies industry and more, he still has no clue which one is best for him.
“Hmm, well the IT and consulting industry is crowded, but the potential for growth is huge…but then again, the nootropics industry isn’t crowded, but it’s very uncharted!” Jerry gets stuck in this mental circle jerk where he never actually pulls the trigger.
Months later, he finally decides to start a coffee production business, but again, he feels like he has to plan everything out and know everything before he starts it. So he spends the next year planning some intricate model of how his company will work, and then FINALLY gets around to starting it.
It took him two years, but he finally did it. Then, a few weeks into starting his business, he finds out that his plan was based off of information that is now outdated, and that he has to re-work his entire business model. “FUCK!” Jerry screams. He just wasted the last two years planning for something that didn’t even work.
Jon Takes Action
Jon, on the other hand, recognizes the value of knowledge, but realizes that it’s very dangerous to get caught in analysis paralysis. Jon decides to start a business with something he’s familiar with: supplements.
He does some research online, and sees that the nootropics industry is relatively uncrowded. “Wow, what a great opportunity!” he thinks. After a week of research, he’s able to land on an idea: a focus enhancing supplement.
He searches around online and finds a company that can produce it for him, for a small fee—he does the math, and realizes that he can get one bottle for $20, and sell it for $50. He pulls the trigger and starts small. He buys $1,000 worth of bottles.
He knew that he’d sell them online, but didn’t bother to create a super intricate plan. He has a general idea of how he’ll do it, but he recognizes that it’s foolish to plan so far in advance.
This is Jon’s strength, though—because he doesn’t have some massively intricate theory, but just takes action, he can very quickly change his strategy depending on the most effective route. At first Jon wanted to make his own website, but then based off of new information that came in, he doesn’t think he should do this.
Instead, he thinks it’d be easier to try and get his supplement line into GNC or sell it through Amazon—a year later, after he plans and re-plans and re-plans, he invests the same $1,000 that Jerry invested into the exact same business building program.
The difference is, however, that now because Jon actually has some reference experience, the business building program actually makes sense. He gets so much more from it, because everything that the seminar talks about, he’s dabbled in and has some clue as to what it is.
Rapid Practical Integration
Do you see the massive difference between Jon and Jerry? After two years, what did Jerry have to show for all of his effort? Literally nothing. He wasted the last two years jerking around never actually pulling the trigger.
Jon, though? Jon just fucking decided to take action, and as new information came in, he altered his original plan. This something that I call “Rapid Practical Integration,” or RPI.
RPI, or Rapid Practical Integration, is a specific way to acquire and utilize information; it’s when you only research things that are IMMEDIATELY applicable to your life.
For example, if you’re trying to learn about women, but you’ve never even done an approach before, you should NOT be learning about the nuances of male/female relationships, the value of logistics, or how to pass shit tests.
You should just be fucking approaching. Just google “how to approach girls,” and then fucking approach girls. Then, as you get more experienced, you’ll start to encounter problems. Say, for example, you can talk to them, but can’t generate a sexual vibe.
Well, then do some research on how to generate a sexual vibe, and go out and practice. Do you see the point? With RPI you only acquire information that is IMMEDIATELY applicable to your life. Because after all, what use is 100 hours of knowledge if you’re not even using it?
Learning to effectively apply Rapid Practical Integration to my life has been one of the most rewarding things that I’ve EVER done. It prevents you from getting stuck in analysis paralysis and ensures that the information you gather is actually worth it.
In order to use RPI, you must ensure that the knowledge you acquire is three things:
First, it must be RAPIDLY acquired. Don’t spend 4 weeks researching something that should take an hour and a half. Second, it must be practical. Don’t search around for something that you can’t apply to your life.
Third, and most importantly, it must be integrated. You have to actually go out and apply the knowledge, so that you can integrate it into your current reality model. If you don’t integrate the knowledge into your life and mind, it’s useless.
The Principle of 3:1
As a rule of thumb, you should have around 3 hours of application for each 1 hour of knowledge. In other words, if you spend an hour watching videos on how to get abs, you should spend 3 hours trying to actually get them.
If you spend 2 hours learning about how to optimize your business structure, you should spend 6 hours actually optimizing it. If you spend just 10 minutes quickly reading about how to build a budget, you should spend 30 minutes actually applying the knowledge to your life.
The principle of 3:1 prevents you from accumulating too much knowledge for your current level of skill. You don’t need to know the intricacies of the bicep curl if you’ve never been in a weight room.
Arnold Schwarzenegger may need to understand the exact form, angle, and mind-muscle connection technique that should go into doing a bicep curl, because he’s a fucking 7 time Mr. Olympia winner.
But if you’ve never been in the gym before? You don’t NEED to know that much! You just need to read Body of an Alpha and fucking take action! Learn what you need to get started, and then just put that knowledge to use.
If you’ve never invested in the stock market, you don’t need to spend the next year learning technical analysis, how to use trading platforms, and learning to utilize chaos theory to account for unexpected changes. You just need to get a fucking brokerage account and do some research on safe, blue-chip stocks.
If you’re Warren Buffet? Then yes, MAYBE you should learn these things, but you’re not Warren Buffet! Stop acquiring useless knowledge and start backing up every hour of knowledge with 3 hours of action.
In conclusion, most men have FAR too much knowledge for their own good. This is a very easy trap to fall into, because you feel like you’re doing something by learning, when you’re really just hurting yourself.
Knowledge that isn’t backed by action is poison. Without enough action to ground your theory, you start to live in a fantasy world—don’t do this. Follow the principles of RPI and the Law of 3:1.
Rapidly acquire knowledge that is practical for your situation, and then immediately integrate it into your life. As a general rule, you should be taking 3 hours of action for every 1 hour of theory.
If you guys have any questions, comments, or concerns, let me know. In fact, as an exercise, try answering the following questions:
- Where have you been taking in too much knowledge?
- Where have you not been taking enough action?
Leave your answers down below and I’ll be sure to respond. Don’t just exit out of this article and forget about it. Start taking action. Right now. RIGHT NOW.
I’m so glad I saw this, I was literally just walking in a field to try and ground myself because I felt overwhelmed as shit with my thoughts and all of the knowledge I have attained. I need even more action. Thanks Jon
Amazing post, I even linked you from my blog. This is so true, and the Law of Use is SO key to success and fulfillment. I’ve learned far too much, and not applying it has eaten me up from the inside!
Haha, thanks man. It’s all about the action!
Is the 3:1 applicable to studies??
Depends on what you’re studying. This post was mainly to address guys that spend WAY too much time reading/researching and not enough time taking action.
Too much theory brings me into trouble.
Actually, this is my problem. I read too much and dont do anything.
This wasn’t like Jesus kind revelation but good smack in the face to do something.
I can back up this article. I’ve only recently been taking action on knowledge I’ve acquired. Before that, I spent a few years reading and doing bugger all else.
Now, I want to know about strengthening the weak parts of my core. I watch a few videos, then start practicing it in the weight room. Boom! A few weeks later my lifts have gone up.
Spent years reading about how to meet girls. Didn’t meet any. Now I don’t read that stuff, I just wave and smile at a few and see what happens. Baby steps, but it’s a shitload more than what I had since I broke up with my ex.
Your example of Jerry researching his business is spot on. That was me for over a year. Had a rough idea of what I wanted to do but spent forever thinking about it and reading about it. Now, in the last month, I’ve got a business partner, already met with 2 potential clients, and it looks like one of them will become a client early next year.
It’s amazing what happens when you just start doing stuff. For me, not a lot so far, but I’ve only been acting for a short while. I expect things will increase exponentially in the next few months.
Thanks for the post Jon. More people need to read, and then act on it.
Thanks man, this comment made me smile. Only about 1% of men read this type of material, and only 1% of that 1% actually takes action…so you’re literally in the top .01% of men by just making an effort to improve 🙂
Also if they won’t buy you any supplements, then get a job and buy them yourself! That’s why I got a job working for Max Muscle when I was in college. I got a massive discount on supplements and got paid to sit around and learn about getting jacked. It’s a phenomenal job for a high school or college student to have.
I really appreciate the fact that your new ebook will be aimed at guys like me. Following your suggestion, I think I’ll meet up with a pal of mine who visits clubs to get laid. I’ll just have to convince the parents to let me stay out late haha. Also I’ll try and approach some girls since I have a couple of gigs coming up.
Great article, I’ve been an avid reader of your blog and already started taking your advice( Best books to buy etc.). Here’s my response to the exercise.
1.I’ll admit right away that I’ve been reading up on gaming girls for almost a year now. Just the one article once a month but far too much in my opinion.
2.To follow up, I’ve not approached any girls. I’m still in high school and my parents have imposed a ban on me to not go out because of exams approaching.(Except rare cases of meeting up with friends) I keep thinking that the moment I enter college I’ll start sarging but I’m worried that the current lack of social interaction right now will affect me later. What are your thoughts?
Another area where I’ve been abysmal at is gaining weight. A brief description, I’m 6’0 and only weigh 56 kgs. I have an ectomorph build and my parents claim that it’s in my genes to be skinny for a few more years(Almost every male relative of mine was as skinny as me at my age but when they went to college they all gained weight). I’ve tried upping my calorie intake but always lost motivation. To make matters worse, my parents will not get me any supplements(I’ve told them but they are too goddamn stubborn). As you can see this affects me in the gym.
That’s about it. Sorry if it was a bit of a rant but I’ve not been able to release my frustration anywhere else.
Haha you’re fine man, I understand how frustrating it can be to have parents that don’t let you game. Here is what I recommend for you:
1. Try to spend the next summer learning game. It’s so much better to practice cold approach BEFORE you go to college, and then you’ll be in the top 1% of guys (because nobody else practices this shit). Do this by either getting a fake, going to 18+ clubs, or day game.
2. Spend the upcoming summer getting jacked. I’m releasing an eBook SPECIFICALLY for skinny guys trying to put on muscle this upcoming February, so I’d highly urge you to check that out.
3. Read my most recent post on mass gainers. I’ll also be putting up some posts on quick 1,000 calorie meals, bulking tips, etc., etc.
Summary: spend the next 7 months before college practicing game and getting jacked, so that when you have freedom, you’ll be in the top 1% of guys at your school.