The Profound Habit of Following Your Own Advice

Wisdom is nothing more profound than an ability to follow your own advice.
— Sam Harris.

I struggle with writing essays that sound too much like advice, because I know inevitably as soon as I tell you the ten tricks for getting into bed early, I’ll suffer bouts of insomnia, wake up at odd hours, and suffer from erratic sleep patterns myself.

Knowing what to do and doing it are two separate things entirely.

Having knowledge and possessing wisdom are different: knowledge is knowing what to do; wisdom is being able to do it.

Most months I struggle just to put one practice into play. In March, it was staying in a consistent meditation practice. I completed ten meditation sessions of my thirty days, and that was enough.

In April, I focused on exercise again. I exercised four times per week, and meditation, my previously diligent practice, slipped quickly to the wayside; I completed three sessions in the entire month of April.

So it is.

The only thing I know how to do is to keep working on myself. I am the best place to apply what I know, and my ongoing experiments are the best teacher. I listen and learn from others, without taking their outside messages too seriously. We are all our own best teachers.

It is easy for me to know what to do. It would be easy for me to tell you what to do, as though that were the thing you needed most to make change.

What is hard is doing what we know we want to do.

With love,

Sarah


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3 Responses to The Profound Habit of Following Your Own Advice

  1. Anita Stout says:

    Well SAID. Now all we need is well DONE! Great post. So honest. I think I’d follow you anywhere if you couldn’t bend like a slinky and I wasn’t jealous! (Yes I saw your back bend pose. :)

  2. […] weekend, I read Sarah Kathleen Peck’s article Saying vs doing on It Starts With. In her article, she talks about knowledge vs. […]

  3. Deborah says:

    Thanks for this Sarah. I am working on tracking and establishing habits to help with the link between saying and doing, specifically to do with getting more sleep. I know the song is ‘It ain’t what you do it’s the way that you do it.’ Perhaps instead of this post it would be ‘It ain’t what you do, it’s just that you do it.’