Bridge the gap between knowing and doing

By Jaya Row

Knowing something is the easy part. Actually putting it into action is an entirely different story. We all know we should eat healthy, exercise, work hard and be disciplined. But how many of us live the principles we espouse?  Across time and through history people have felt the yearning for meaning and purpose. It is seldom pursued or satisfied completely. Enter the ‘knowing-doing gap’.

The knowing-doing gap is the disconnect between knowledge and action.

Knowledge is often mistaken for wisdom. We admire people who have merely gathered facts and data. Rare are the wise who have transformed themselves from within. The ancient Indian sages emphasised wisdom and prescribed a clear pathway by which this knowing-doing gap could be bridged.

There are three stages of gaining wisdom. The first is shravana, the intake of knowledge. The second stage, manana, is reflection, thinking, viewing the same thing from different angles, and experimenting with it. You then integrate it into your system, live it. You are now the wiser for it. This is the last stage – nidhidhyasana. Most people stop with just the intake of knowledge.

Long before you take on the world you have to win against your deadliest opponent – you! You have allowed yourself to believe you can’t. Imposed limitations on yourself. Become subservient to the world. You look at obstacles, not opportunities. Worry about failing, and do not even consider the possibility of winning. Using golf terminology, you have lost your swing.

Find purpose. What are you living for? Life cannot be just growing, getting a job, going on a few vacations, growing old and dying. In the end you want meaning in life. More zest, energy, vitality. You want to wake up excited, with a thirst for life you haven’t felt since childhood.

The accent should shift from wanting to change the world to changing yourself. The world is only a projection of your mind. A happy mind projects a happy world, a tormented mind sees a miserable world. Change your thoughts and your world changes miraculously.

The Bhagwad Gita helps you understand yourself, identify your strengths and leverage them to overcome your weaknesses. Like us, Arjun speaks words of wisdom but is unable to live them. Krishn bridges the knowing-doing gap in Chapter 7 by guided reflection. He presents the knowledge from a fresh perspective and ignites original thinking.

As humans, we have the choice of focussing on the world, or penetrating through to the Spirit. Pursue limited, myopic goals or rise above the obvious and seek the Eternal. The choice is ours. Krishn supports whichever path we choose and ensures we obtain what we strive for. All paths lead to Him.

We need to find the most effective path to the goal of total fulfilment. A few people visualise that which transcends the material plane and worship God. They belong to four categories. Some turn to God only to enhance their wealth. The distressed, who meet with tragic circumstances and are agitated, seek solace. Others are curious and look for mere information. But the jnanis, the wise, excel. They see the futility of worldly pursuits and strive for the transcendental. They seek permanent happiness. They reach enlightenment.

For weekly webinars on the Bhagwad Gita, Saturdays, 6.30-7.30pm IST, register free:



Views expressed above are the author’s own.


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