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The Things We Already Know

We know the answers to many of the questions we ask ourselves, whether we admit it or not. We deny the answers for many reasons. They make us uncomfortable. They require action. They eliminate excuses. They challenge our belief systems and our sense of convenience.

Most of us know that:

If you want to get more writing done, you should write more.

The only way to write a book is to write the book. Here’s mine.

If you want to know anything, question everything.

If you want to feel better, do the things that will make you feel better.

If you want to stand out, don’t do what everyone else is doing.

If you want to be stronger, then do things that will make you strong.

If you want to be patient, practice patience.

If you want people to get to know you better, you need to make sure that you’re worth knowing.

If you want friends, be friendly.

If you want to press a heavier kettlebell, put down the baby one.

If you want to watch less TV, turn off the TV.

If you want to lose weight, it’s best not to live in America, but it’s also possible to eat fewer hot dogs and move more.

If you want people to read your blog, convince them that they should.

If you feel like people take advantage of you, make sure you know the difference between turning the other cheek and being a doormat.

If you want to be trusted, don’t lie.

If you want to be a good listener, be quiet once in a while.

If you want a better job, don’t work forever at a crappy one.

If you hate the path that has led you to this moment in your life, walk in a different direction.

If you want more money, save more and find a way to make more. Complaining pays poorly, unless you’re a pundit.

If you want to be humble, don’t spend time practicing arrogance.

If you want a bigger deadlift, then do some deadlifting. (please use better form than I did)

If you want to be happy, don’t do things that will make you sad.

If you want to be smarter, engage your mind and don’t be a mere spectator.

If you want to go somewhere, take the first step.

If you want to be confident, walk like you’re wearing a cape.

If you just want to be like most people, stick with wishful thinking.

It’s easy for me to pretend that there are things I can’t figure out.  But when I’m honest with myself, I usually know the answers I need. I just don’t always want to admit it.

Josh

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Christopher Kabamba February 22, 2010, 7:03 am

    I have always thought that at every point in our lives, we can be much better with what we already know and have. We just need TAKE what we know and begin to USE it. That’s where all ideas find their value. Otherwise they are useless.

    • Josh Hanagarne February 22, 2010, 10:32 am

      Learning is a wonderful thing, and learning from others is invaluable. But in the past, I’ve tended to rely on others for way too much of my own information. I would ask them before I’d ask myself, and that’s just lazy.

  • Todd February 22, 2010, 8:26 am

    “If you want more money, save more and find a way to make more. Complaining pays poorly, unless you’re a pundit.”

    This one made me spit coffee on my monitor.

    • Josh Hanagarne February 22, 2010, 10:31 am

      couldn’t resist. I’m sickened by all the yammering.

  • Fiona February 22, 2010, 8:59 am

    They’re all so obvious yet we pass these truths by. Its a good reminder to stick with the basics, simplify how we approach life and it can be so much better.

    • Josh Hanagarne February 22, 2010, 10:31 am

      I’m not immune, either. I pass them all by, sometimes all at once. I’m currently just trying to reduce the number of them, but I’m as guilty as anyone.

  • Heather February 22, 2010, 9:03 am

    This is another keeper. . . . Printing, distributing via e-mail, and thanks for the virtual a$$-kicking! 🙂

  • Srinivas Rao February 22, 2010, 11:04 am

    Josh,

    It’s really amazing to me how much we already know how to do that we continually search for advice on. This blog post could be turned into a motivational poster. Just to share an example, I finally have started making some money, but the weird thing is I’m making money from skills that I had 4 months ago. All it took was posting ad on craigslist. Interesting how much we already know.

    • Josh Hanagarne February 22, 2010, 11:08 am

      I told you you’d make a good gigolo. You’ve got to start taking my advice!

  • Lori February 22, 2010, 12:03 pm

    May I add one?
    “If you want to laugh, start by laughing at yourself (i.e., lighten up).”

    It’s always worked for me, anyway.
    Great post, master Josh.

    • Josh Hanagarne February 22, 2010, 12:13 pm

      Lori, where have you been?

      • Lori February 22, 2010, 1:03 pm

        I’ve been here all along — just passively consuming.
        You’ll never escape me, I’m like VISA — everywhere you want to be.
        Keep up the great work!

  • John February 22, 2010, 12:21 pm

    If you want people to get to know you better, you need to make sure that you’re worth knowing.

    — love it. Been reading your blog for a while, but never left a comment. This one hit me right between the eyes and I had to say thank you for putting out there what so many people are afraid to say.

  • Bill Jones February 22, 2010, 12:42 pm

    Excellent as always. And I although I may have said a few of these to other people…I needed it today! I thank you!!

  • Bamboo Forest - PunIntended February 22, 2010, 1:34 pm

    You write,

    “But when I’m honest with myself, I usually know the answers I need. I just don’t always want to admit it.”

    I agree with the thrust of your post; you argue it well.

    I think part of the problem, sometimes, is that we may know, but we simply lack proper awareness. Knowledge is actually pretty weak if it’s not supported by awareness.

    Give you an example… The overweight person may be stuffing himself and he knows, deep down, that eating less translates to losing weight.

    But… He never contemplates it. He doesn’t hold that vision with him wherever he goes. He lets his knowledge slip through his fingers, and that’s where the problem lies. His problem is not a lack of knowledge, but a lack of awareness.

    If only he began associating excessive food consumption with more painful consequences than giving up such a practice, he’d stop. But to do so requires reflection and meditation on a regular basis.

    Even if he was just to say every time prior to eating too much “I know by doing this I’m prolonging my weight problem,” after a while, perhaps it would sink in and his behavior would follow suit.

  • Shannon O | Confessions of a Loving Wife February 22, 2010, 7:02 pm

    Sometimes we just need to be reminded that we do in fact know the things we think that we don’t know…

    The best one:

    “If you just want to be like most people, stick with wishful thinking.”

    Thanks Josh!

  • Lynn Kilpatrick February 22, 2010, 7:07 pm

    Thanks for this: If you want a bigger deadlift, then do some deadlifting.
    I took it to heart, just now, and PR’ed! I’m on my way to 300!
    Thanks!

  • Jack February 22, 2010, 10:03 pm

    Sometimes people prefer not to ask themselves the hard questions. Or if they do, they find it exceptionally tough to take the first step.

    It is hard to step outside of our comfort zones.

  • Karetha February 23, 2010, 12:40 pm

    My favorite:
    “If you want to know anything, question everything.”

    This is one of my personal mottos. It goes along with:
    “The only bad question is the one you didn’t ask.”

    Thanks for the great list of things we already know but never think about 🙂

  • Debbie Lattuga February 24, 2010, 1:21 pm

    If you want to be perceived as intelligent, talk less, listen more. (actually, that’s been proven by sociologists)

    Great post, and great to be reminded that I know these things.

  • mk akan February 24, 2010, 5:38 pm

    another nice one…do what you have to do and stop whining and complaining….got the message

  • Geoff February 24, 2010, 6:17 pm

    “It is not because things are difficult that we dare not venture. It is because we dare not venture that things are difficult.”
    – Lucius Annaeus Seneca

    One of my favourite quotes, if not my most favourite, of all time. This basically encompasses all of what Josh has said into one powerful punch that wakes me up every time I roll those two simple sentences through my head.

    Thanks for the observations Josh. The best way to get my calculus homework done is to stop stumbling and go do my calculus homework!

  • woundedduck February 25, 2010, 3:02 pm

    So much for psychology.

    • Josh Hanagarne February 25, 2010, 3:06 pm

      Oh, there are still plenty of things I couldn’t figure out without a psychologist’s help. I’ll just pretend that they’re things I don’t need to know:)

  • kish February 26, 2010, 3:04 pm

    Reaffirmation
    Thanks.

  • happy maker February 26, 2010, 4:28 pm

    Great post! this is so true. Any excuses we can make as human we try to use them and then wonder what went wrong. Keep up the good work
    Debbie

  • Sam February 28, 2010, 3:45 pm

    That’s the thing, right? Knowing what to do and actually DOING it are so far removed they are almost not related. Everybody knows what to do but so very few actually do it.

  • Bill in Detroit March 4, 2010, 9:10 pm

    The next time we want to blame someone for our sorry lot in life, we should begin in front of a mirror.

    Good post, Josh. A little blunt, perhaps, but sometimes that’s the way truth works.

    (We are ALL ‘self-made’ people. Some make gold, some make lead.)

  • Debbie March 5, 2010, 12:54 pm

    Very direct and to the point. People can be so busy complain that they can’t see the what is right in front of them. Dislike complainers very much!

    If you have a problem check out yourself first is what I always say.
    Debbie

  • frank March 7, 2010, 9:21 pm

    i followed and appreciated most of this, except for the nonsense in the middle (the stuff with bold words, wtf?).

    • Josh Hanagarne March 7, 2010, 9:32 pm

      The links? I don’t see the nonsense behind saying if you want to get stronger, you have to work towards more weight, that if you don’t want to be obese, you should eat better so you don’t contribute to the American obesity epidemic, and that if you want people to read your blog, you should do something worth reading. A couple of the posts behind those links are pretty goofy, absolutely but I don’t see any nonsense in the statements themselves. Thanks for the comment.

  • xXBrother_DoggieXx March 8, 2010, 10:17 pm

    Thank you for posting this. ^^

  • Sting April 2, 2010, 3:30 am

    Useful tips! Thank you!

  • R. Charles October 12, 2011, 1:54 pm

    “if you want to lose weight it’s best not to live in America”? Really? Wow I didn’t know this post was about bashing America, that’s a really ridiculously ignorant statement (No i’m not 280 pounds). If you want to make an inspirational informative post, don’t go about bashing a nation just because of what you see in movies. In fact if you were intelligent enough at all, you’d say Australia, because Australia has the highest number of obese people.

    • Josh Hanagarne October 12, 2011, 2:15 pm

      “Wow I didn’t know this post was about bashing America”,

      It isn’t. One line in about 50 of them doesn’t define what the post is about.

      “No i’m not 280 pounds”

      Not sure what that has to do with anything. I’m glad you’re in good health, if that’s what you mean.

      “If you want to make an inspirational informative post, don’t go about bashing a nation just because of what you see in movies.”

      Do obesity epidemics only occur in the movies? Most statistics disagree.

      “In fact if you were intelligent enough at all”

      That’s not a fact. That doesn’t even make sense.

      “you’d say Australia, because Australia has the highest number of obese people.”

      Got a source for that claim? I’ve yet to see a legitimate resource that even places Australia in the top 5.