The Librarian vs the Warrior

The Librarian… gathers, collects, organizes information… and essentially becomes a philosopher or a theorist. They usually don’t know what the heck they can do with all that information. Who would?

The Warrior… uses the information neatly collected and organized by the librarian and puts it into practice… and essentially becomes the one who would put the theories to test. And how wouldn’t want that?

Instinctively, we all want to be the warriors but for some reason, our actions don’t match up our words/intent.

Donald Robertson said it the best:

“The ancients conceived of the ideal philosopher as a veritable warrior of the mind, a spiritual hero akin to Hercules himself, but since the demise of the Hellenistic schools, the philosopher has become something more bookish, not a warrior, but a mere librarian of the mind.”

You know what I’m getting at, don’t you? If you’re wondering what’s the solution to this… it’s pretty darn simple.

Get your hands dirty. Get into the battlefield and fight. Practice. Compete. Do.

There are no alternatives, sadly. And you can look as much as you can into your library there are no shortcuts. The ones that you may find will shortcut the process but at a cost.

To win the Olympics, showing up as the best-looking athlete or the strongest athlete isn’t enough. You need to get in the field and compete to test your limits and determine who’s faster, higher and stronger among them all. There are no medals for showing up. Only for the ones who win.

But how do you win? No merely by studying the world’s greatest athletes but by distilling the key learnings into practice and then repeating it over and over again until you have attained mastery. And even then, you probably won’t make it, because champion athletes will put their level of mastery to the test, fail, improve and test again before arriving at the ultimate test — the Olympics.

The road from knowing something to achieving something is a long, arduous, thankless journey that not many would want to commit towards. That’s why we’re being the librarian appeals to us the most. The mistake is that we assume we’re the warriors of the mind, but are we? Brain Johnson said it the best, “Theory is rudimentary philosophy. Practice is the advanced work.”

What do you want to be? (Theory)

Most importantly, how are you going to make it happen? (Practice)

Go, compete!

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