My first response to everything is to pull out my phone and look it up. The ability to look up everything and having an answer at my finger tips has made it more likely I will ignore the information in front of me. Relying, instead on the answer the internet provides.
It’s a bit of a catch 22. Having more information is always better, but under developing the ability to analyze the circumstances to determine what’s needed, or better yet, what information is needed is catastrophic. As beneficial as theory is it will never replace action.
“Theory is extremely important – but it can never be more than an aid, a tool for crystallizing and refining natural intuition; and as such it must always come second to that intuition. Your intuition!”
The Limitations of Theory
Tommy Wonder and Stephen Minch
It’s impossible to describe but when we know it when we feel it. The path to get to reliable intuition takes time and effort. Robert Greene outlines the steps to mastery as three stage process.
A good academic program and where most people get stuck is in the first stage. The theory stage. It is a safe place to be. It’s easy to come back to, to rely on. Most importantly it feels like accomplishing a lot with little effort.
I stay at this level primarily out of fear of failing in the next level. I have been successful and I don’t want to give it up. Especially when it comes with the all the baggage of the second stage. All emotions we’re familiar with.
Unfortunately the sheer access to information becomes the ultimate stop gap to moving on. Google is a constant siren song. A distractor from feeling uncomfortable with the only path to mastery. Set aside information and go through the discomfort is the only way to create reliable intuition.