On internalizing lessons

I consume a lot. Books, articles, blog posts, podcasts, food, audiobooks, TED talks, and so on. Which also means I must have learned quite a lot.

But having “learned” something doesn’t mean I’ve “learnt” it. Often, I find myself regressing, relapsing into old habits, (in)voluntarily destroying the changes I’ve worked so hard to build, and failing to sustain the lessons I’ve learned. Repeatedly, over and over again.

I already know the things I need to know, and yet, I coincidentally forgot about them when I need them most. I think I’ve written about something similar before, perhaps on knowledge consolidation or exploration vs exploitation. And yet, I still haven’t quite internalized it yet.

It’s like what Bruce Lee said, “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” I may have learned 10,000 lessons, but I’ve mostly only learned them once, or a few times at most.

How many times did I learn about health and fitness before I started taking exercise and diet seriously? How many times did I learn about the benefits of writing and journaling before I started my first blog post or journal entry? Even this lesson on regression and not internalizing lessons, how many times do I need to go through it before I can finally say I’ve “learnt” it?

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, but at the same time, repeated practice and exposure is how lessons get internalized so perhaps I just need to keep at it until I reached the metaphorical 10,000 times.

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