Knowledge is Power, Execution is Royalty
(and Perception is Noteworthy)
Knowledge and Execution
Of course, there is a whole slew of aspects that go into a creative or productive process that is unique and specific to what is being worked on, as well as the role taken on by an individual. Such as a journalist and a backend developer. Despite the obvious differences both positions have, they both share similarities in what makes up their work, and today we’ll be reflecting on two specific aspects that many creative/productive processes have in common. Those being knowledge and execution! Of course, there are many aspects to creative/productive processes; time, energy, resources, experience, you name it! However today we’ll be looking at two aspects of the creative or productive process.
Now, what is knowledge? Knowledge is defined to be “facts, information, and skills acquired by a person through experience or education.” Which in turn leads to the “theoretical or practical understanding of a subject.” From this, knowledge is what allows innovators to create, writers to formulate, and painters to illustrate their magical thoughts and ideas within our amazing world. The application of what is learned, either through deliberate action, instruction, experience, or immersion allows for individuals to acquire knowledge. Although there are many other ways an individual can acquire this knowledge as well.
Knowledge and its Application
The application of knowledge in any area of one’s creative work allows for depth and growth. That way, you are becoming more versed in your inventive or expressive practice. However, in this way, we can consider how becoming more knowledgeable about various areas of one’s life is also beneficial. For example, let’s take learning a new language, something foreign and unique to the individual at first. There are many ways in which an individual can go about this process, various methods on how they can become knowledgeable about the subject matter. Deliberate action, by practicing the language, refining one’s grammar, understanding contextual application in different social scenarios. Instruction, through a teacher, a mentor, or a friend who drives their development, pointing out missing areas and other aspects that need to be worked upon. Experience, by applying what has been learned and undergoing the “trial of fire”. Speaking with those well versed in the language, getting active feedback as you work through the process of communication. And finally, immersion, enveloping yourself with the culture and the language as much as possible. And that could be, for instance, breathing in the heritage and history that surrounds the language in whichever way you can. So much so that, closing your eyes, you see yourself on the streets of these beautiful places. Understanding the power that comes with knowledge is one component that can make or break the process of any production or work, let alone a creative one. Bestselling author and productivity hacker Tim Ferris, relates this idea in a number of his books, including The 4 Hour Work Week and Tools of Titans. He states that:
“Investing in yourself is the most important investment you’ll ever make in your life. . . . There’s no financial investment that’ll ever match it, because if you develop more skill, more ability, more insight, more capacity . . . It’s those skill sets that really make that happen.” – Tim Ferris
We must invest in ourselves by becoming more knowledgeable about our creative or productive focus. After that, it all comes down to applying the knowledge that has been learned and then executing the techniques and ideas that have been collected over time.
Execution and The “Forever Box”
It all comes down to execution, truly and honestly. Without execution, there is only dreaming, only imagining the wonderful and amazing ideas that have populated your headspace. Put the blade to the grindstone and begin, and you will be surprised how far you will go.
“Innovation is Rewarded, Execution is Worshipped.” – Eric Thomas
However, be wary of mindless “execution” or busy work masked as being productive. We all fall victim to the “Forever Box”, whether it be at work, school, or home. We believe we are moving forward with our goals, dreams, aspirations (or believing that you cleaned your room even though you packed everything under your bed. Don’t judge, you know you’ve been there too). Unfortunately, we spend hours upon hours “executing” on things that have little to no impact on our creative endeavours or in our lives.
“There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.” – Peter F Drucker.
Ask yourself if what you are doing right at this very moment, is pushing you further away from your goals in your creative process? Is it productive? Or are you performing, as Cal Newport describes “Pseudo-Work”; the long, low intensity, unproductive grind sessions disguised as work? Don’t get lost in a cycle of thoughtless repetition, especially if it doesn’t propel you towards your goal.
Perception and Total Execution
From this, perception is key, since without perception there is little direction in applying the knowledge you have acquired. Imagine walking all alone on a dark and starry night in the middle of the woods. It’s a peaceful process until you trip and fall on a branch because your light isn’t on. In the same way, perception allows us to “shed light” on the possible directions you may take after your first push into the process. Even after a slip up here and there, we can still shine a light on the mistakes that have occurred and search for the next direction to continue the process. In other words, perception is the “ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through the senses” or experiences. Which allows individuals to regard, understand and interpret the information before them. This allows the individual to further push the envelope of honest or total execution. Connecting this with the idea of knowledge, we can say that to have “perceived” is to have entered into a “state of being or process of becoming aware” of the knowledge acquired (or the process of that acquisition). So that we in turn discern between what applies to the task before us, and what information is still needed as we continue down through the process of our production. [Next time you find yourself in the deep, dark and eerie state of stagnation. Take a few moments, sit back, and begin to think “How did I put myself into this position, and what are the various ways I can bring myself out of this situation.”]
Bringing It All Together
Throughout the article, we discussed that knowledge is a powerful tool that, paired with execution, allows an individual to become king over their productive or creative process. With a perceiving and discerning eye, an individual can fish out what is noteworthy and necessary to continue further up the mountain of their artistic or productive operation. It’s necessary to understand that these ideas are not the “do or dies” in the process of creation but are beneficial instruments in one’s inventive and productive orchestra. Add and refine these principles and ideas in your life and see just how far you can go.
KOA as a community has promoted these ideas by providing its users with a plethora of information for them to become more knowledgeable and execute effectively in their desired area. From Pomodoro Raids to Habitica Clans, from the resource library to the discussion wing. Many of us in the KOA family have seen drastic improvements in our fields, habits, hobbies and our livelihoods. Through diligent action, self-improvement is within anyone’s grasp, just never forget that Knowledge is Power and Execution is Royalty!
The Pomodoro Technique – https://knightsofacademia.org/the-pomodoro-technique/
The Pareto Principle – https://knightsofacademia.org/the-pareto-principle-why-you-shouldnt-focus-on-everything/
Practicing Deep Work Habits – https://knightsofacademia.org/practicing-deep-work-habits/