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Fake Progress

With the help of intentions and promises, he maintains the honest impression that he is moving toward the good, yet all the while he moves farther and farther away from it.
—Søren Kierkegaard

Making decisions isn’t progress. Planning soothes your mind. But it’s a false sense of accomplishment. You still haven’t done anything by then.

You have to act.

Similarily, reading itself isn’t progress. We have learned a bit, but until we process the information, we haven’t yet succeeded.

Remember the Collector’s Fallacy:

‘[T]o know about something’ isn’t the same as ‘knowing something’. Just knowing about a thing is less than superficial since knowing about is merely to be certain of its existence, nothing more. Ultimately, this fake-knowledge is hindering us on our road to true excellence. Until we merge the contents, the information, ideas, and thoughts of other people into our own knowledge, we haven’t really learned a thing. We don’t change ourselves if we don’t learn, so merely filing things away doesn’t lead us anywhere.

Reading is cheap. Reading is easy. Processing notes is hard and time-consuming. But the hard work is the work that matters in the long run.