We Know What to Do. So why Don’t We Do What We Know?

How many times have you heard somebody say to you Do As I Say Not As I Do? That’s’ something my father used to say all the time, and still does. I used to always think, ‘if you’re giving me advice and you know what to do, then why in the world are you not doing what you know?’ It made no sense to me then, nor does it make any sense to me now. Don’t get me wrong, I love him to death, greatest guy in the world, but it still makes no frickin’ sense!

I think a lot of it has to do with one of two things. Either it has to do with fear of taking action, or wanting to take the easy route, or quite often a combination of both.

The Easy Route

You may know what to do and the steps you need to take in order to achieve whatever it is that you’re trying to accomplish, but I believe many people self justify themselves out of taking action because they realize that what they need to do actually isn’t going to come easy and will require some time and effort. I have found anything worth value requires time and effort, and anything that is worth doing is worth doing right. The best way I can describe it is to say that it’s easy to do something easy.


Fear. What a crippler… You may know what to do but it is very possible that you are afraid to do it. I think fear is the #1 reason why people do not achieve their potential, and overcoming fear is the #1 reason why people succeed.

The best example I can use as an example of knowing what to do and not doing what you know happened in the business that came after I finished my first rewrite of How To Ruin A Business Without Really Trying. I was telling a friend and colleague of mine of some mistakes that I had recently made. Having read the first run of my book, he came over and pointed to the new edit of my book which was sitting on the corner of my desk and told me that I had better go back and re-read my own book as I was making many of the same mistakes that I had specifically pointed out in the book to avoid!

Like they say, first time shame on you, second time shame on me! I realized that I simply was not practicing what I was preaching!

Practice What You Preach

 I have found that it doesn’t make sense to give anyone advice on what they should do if I’m not doing the same thing myself. I would feel like a hypocrite! For example, I’m a big follower that a messy desk is a messy mind. Now if I advise a person or company to practice this in their business, and on their next visit they catch me with a messy desk, then I’m practicing the exact opposite of what I’m preaching! Because of this, my guess is that my client is not going to give any value to anything I say. I’m also guessing that I will be losing them as a client as I will have lost all credibility.


I think another reason why we don’t do what we know has a lot to do with organization and journaling. What I have learned is that when I realize or have a good idea of what it is that I need to do, I immediately put it down in paper. I write down the goal, the steps I need to take in order to achieve that goal, then make a plan and create action steps of how and when I am going to do it. Writing down when to do something I have found to be quite powerful, but don’t take my word for it, try it yourself. The next time something pops into your head of something that you need to do, write it down, then put a date on when you are going to do it. What I’ll hope you will find is how powerful putting a date on it actually is. As an example, let’s put the most basic task of doing your laundry. While I may have written it down many times before and never gotten around to doing it that week, when I put down a date, and with technology today, setting a reminder on my phone reminding me when to do it, it becomes extremely hard to avoid. Even if I delete the reminder it sticks in my head and bothers me until I get it done! I have reminders that pop up on my phone at all times throughout the day both reminding me of when I have to do something, as well as little alarms that go off an hour before I’m supposed to do each one. It’s amazing how much more we can accomplish when we put technology to work.

Knowledge Without Action is useless.

Knowledge Without Action is useless. I’ve known so many people that had great knowledge as to what it is they needed to do in order to succeed. I’ve also known people who not only possessed the knowledge of what to do, but also had an actual strategy as to how they were going to achieve it. If only they took that final step and did what they knew, I am confident they would have produced extraordinary results. The person that comes to mind when I write about this I know extremely well, as it has been ME many times before.

Put Yourself In The Ballgame

It’s important to note that, while I’m not saying that following these rules are easy, I find it to be the key difference between achieving success, compared to never being able to achieve what it is that you have set out to accomplish. If anything, it certainly puts you in the ballgame, as if you don’t do what you know you are not even giving yourself a chance! Take any sport as an example. Is there any chance you will score a goal, hit a home run, or make a basket if you are sitting on the bench? Of course not. Quite simply if there is no risk, there can be no reward .

Bottom line, in order to give you the greatest chance to succeed, my advice is that if you know what to do, write it down, put a date on it, write down the steps that need to be done, overcome the fear, overcome the fact that what you are trying to do might not come easy, then simply Do What You Know!

Have a great day!



“MJ takes a new and exciting approach on how to teach entrepreneurs.”

Daymond John
Co-host of ABC's, 'Shark Tank'

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4 thoughts on “We Know What to Do. So why Don’t We Do What We Know?

    1. Thanks Skip. I know too many of mine have been in dustbins! Had to start taking action! Appreciate it my man! …

  1. I agree 100%, but some times the financial aspect is not available, then what should i do? Anyway, i think i should do my best to accomplish the “Do What I Know” theory soon :)

    Thanks for sharing..

    1. Hey Ali. I think there is always an angle we can look at that may offer a way to get around the financial aspect, however sometimes we have to delay things and do things we don’t necessarily want to do to do what we want. I know I struggled with that when I had to mop floors after I lost my first business but I knew it was the best I could do to and took at as a stepping stone to get back on my feet. There is an answer to everything even if we don’t want to see it. Just do your best, but make sure you DO. Thanks man. Be well-MJ

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