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The 5 Steps to Mastery #3

Are you just Informed About it? Or do you Really Understand?

Do you understand the information you've been given, or are you just informed about it? There's a crucial difference between being informed about something - just knowing about it - and understanding it.

Do you just Believe once you have the Information?

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When you've just received some information from outside you're informed about it. You haven't investigated it for yourself, so how can you understand it? You need to be skeptical. Willingness to investigate is the secret of success to understanding this third step to mastery. You have little personal power in simply having information, because you haven't given it any energy.

You may believe what they say, but that's irrelevant, realize the word believe, be-lie-ve contains the word "lie". There's little or no power in believing - knowing about something - because a belief is information you've accept from outside without checking it out thoroughly for yourself. You'll change your life when you stop your
self sabotage, investigate all your beliefs and give them the power of real understanding.

Have you Investigated it - given it any Energy?

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In contrast, understanding requires energy - your energy. This step to mastery is to investigate the information you're given, to give it your time and energy.

Yet when your thoughts insist you already know, your self sabotage will not allow space for any new understanding to arise. You need to be open-minded to explore another's truth, especially when it seems to contradict your current opinion. Truth needs space to enter, only in emptiness are you open to truth. Without being honest and willing, how will you really understand what they are saying?

Your thoughts, words, and deeds have power, but only once you've invested effort. That's where their inner power comes from: You! The
secret of success is to increase your inner power by putting in energy yourself. There is indeed no free lunch.

Yet your energy is a true investment, it's available to you forever. Just like exercise where you only get physically fit by exercising yourself, you only get mentally fit and healthy by investigating information you're given for yourself.

The health differences between someone who avoids exercise and someone who is fit is tremendous. There's the same mental health difference between someone who's only informed about something and believes it, and someone whose mind is exercised, fit and healthy.

The Finger Pointing at the Moon

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With mental energy, you understand the words, the concept, the symbols which point the way to the truth. But you'll change your life by seeing that the finger pointing at the moon is not the moon. A pointer to reality is not reality itself, although following the finger can lead you to the moon.

Without experience you can understand conceptually, but you won't experience the changes that come from experience. Change involves movement, and movement takes energy.

Understanding is a good start, but it is only a start. Thoughts take lots less energy than action, than getting out and doing it. So understanding is the end of the beginning but nothing more, the next
step to mastery is to gain experience.

Don't Procrastinate

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If you know you should do something, then do it. Don't self sabotage by giving it time and then postponing. Investigation is key, once you see it is wrong then it'll drop by itself. You say you'll do it because you haven't yet investigated it sufficiently to see if it's right or wrong for you.

If you haven't yet decided which it is, then wait until you have. Say: I haven't yet made up my mind which it is, and so I can't decide yet. Honesty is better than saying you do it when you're still undecided: Telling the truth is indeed the best policy. The secret of success is not to let yourself be pressured to decide. If you need to be definite, then be a definite maybe!

Food for Thought

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"The evil that is in the world almost always comes of ignorance, and good intentions may do as much harm as malevolence if they lack understanding."

- Albert Camus, 1913-1960, French author, journalist, and philosopher of individual freedom, 1957 Nobel prize for Literature

This article was originally published at
© Copyright worldwide Cris Baker, All rights reserved. Republishing welcomed under Creative Commons noncommercial no derivatives license preserving all links intact, so share this widely!
> There are more to enjoy in this series:
The articles explaining the 5 Steps to Mastery are:

  1. Ignorance. Are they even listening?

  2. Informed about. They only know about it

  3. Understand. Do you really understand?

  4. Experience gives you authentic knowing

  5. Teach. A master knows it from all angles

  6. Summary. Have you mastered it yet?

  7. Caution - pretenders. They may pretend to be a master, but are they?
> Enjoy the wisdom of different perspectives in other series of articles:
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