Reading or riding, which is going to get you where you want to go?

by Dr. Ken Larsen

You can’t learn to ride a bike by reading about it.  You have to get on the bike and ride it.  Reading and riding work in different parts of our brain.  Studying the aerodynamics of flight will not enable you to fly.  Knowing about something is far removed from actually doing it.

Self-help books and programs have proliferated over the past few decades.  Seems like you can improve your sex life, get along better with your children and get rich in the market, all by reading a book or listening to someone talk about it.

I would have to murmur, “Au contraire, mon ami!”  Knowing about something is not the same as doing it.

Books can give us information about some things we want to do in our life.  They can give us a theoretical base to guide our efforts, but at some point we need to actually step out and do it.

ridingabikeWe need to get on the bike.  We need to get close to our partner and learn to love and be loved, we need to actually get face to face with our children and use some of the theoretical insights we have gained.  I don’t know what to tell you about the market.  Perhaps just realizing “how much is enough?” and living with that will make you rich in many ways.

Life is about living, about finding our mental health and happiness in the experience of getting out of ourselves and into connected relationships where we can give and receive the real stuff of life.

When we start to ride, there are the skinned knees and elbows.  Just as in life there is trauma when we start to ride.  But we ride on anyway!



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