The Three Most Dangerous Words In the English Language

Written by on October 12th, 2016 // Filed under Craft Of Writing, Encouragement & Philosophy, Erika Viktor


Socrates from Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure

“Harv, if you’re not as successful as you’d like to be, there’s something you don’t know.”

- T Harv Eker’s friend

The other day I was reading Secrets of the Millionaire Mind in the last chapter, entitled wealth file number 17, author T Harv Eker gives us this axiom:

“Rich People Constantly Learn and Grow. Poor People Think They Already Know.”

This phrase reminds me of my biggest “pet peeve phrase” in the human language. Whenever somebody says it I inwardly cringe and become quite mentally violent (I’m working on it) and want to punch a hole through something.

That phrase is: “I know.”

Socrates, arguably the most noted philosopher of all time, famously reported that he “knew nothing.” He said this not as a young man, but a very old one. He had lived in entire life, accumulating and passing out knowledge, but he still had the humility to learn.

I can’t tell you how many times I have asked someone to do something important to have them reply “I know.”

On occasion, friends will want advice. They want to know about starting a business or writing a book or how to tell if old Auntie Erma’s vase is worth a college tuition or how to operate an SLR camera on manual.

Time and time again, I will give them advice and time and time again they will say “I already know that.”

Let me say that you don’t actually know anything until you have applied it. Knowing the “Sunny F-16 Rule” is so much different than sitting in the sunlit meadow and adjusting your manual settings on your camera. Knowing that a business takes hard work over years with great financial risk is so much different than actually executing on that work. Knowing that a book will take a lot of work is much different than sitting in a heap of rejection letters.

During Eker’s seminars, he teaches that the words “I know that” are the three most dangerous words in the English language. Those who believe they already know, have stopped the flow of learning and have reached a dead end. They are tapping the corners.

Eker then goes on to say “You can be right or you could be rich, but you can’t be both.”

What people are really saying when they say “I know,” is, “but can you tell me a very easy quick way to get it done so that I can get the prize without having to work very hard?”

My answer to that question is, “I don’t know that.”

Clearly, you don’t know. If you knew, you would be doing it or you would’ve already done it.

If you really think you do know, then apply the knowledge.

If you catch yourself using these dangerous words a lot, here are some alternatives for you to practice saying:

“I am aware of that, I just haven’t done it yet.”

“I have heard of that, but haven’t yet dived in to explore the nuances.”

“I’ve been meaning to try that.”

“I have done that and found it to be difficult, do you have any tips to help me on my journey?”

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