Do we need more information, or do we simply need to act on the information we already have?

I found this Tweet by Atomic Habits author James Clear quite thought provoking:

I read quite a lot. For a while there, I was averaging a book a week. We are not short of information in the modern world; the opposite in fact – we have too much information.

It is really easy to read about what you need to do to be healthy, but it is a different matter doing it. Many of us know the feeling of buying a new cookbook, diet book, or productivity book, reading it all but doing bugger all with the information. I was reading a book a week, but if I am honest with myself, most of the information was soon forgotten.

We think reading about the subject is enough, we convince ourselves we are doing research when in reality, we are just fooling ourselves that we are taking action.

We get the same situation in Government, we know what needs to be done, but we don’t do it. Politicians and civil servants continuously kick the can down the round by commissioning another report. There have been endless reports into the Health Service, for example, but very little action. It is easier for Government to appear to be doing something than actually doing something.

Who can forget Peter Weir? Before his ascension to the red benches of the House Of Lords, as Education Minister, his solution to the issue of educational underachievement in working-class protestant boys was to commission another report. This was in addition to the seven reports already on this issue. It goes without saying that while Baron Weir of Ballyholme is getting cosy under his ermine, the issue of educational underachievement is still not addressed.

We need to be constantly asking politicians and leaders what they are doing today, not what they plan to do at some vague point in the future. This advice also applies to us. It is easy to wait till New Year or some other arbitrary point in the future, but the real challenge is what can you do right now?

Do as little as necessary to appear to be doing something without actually committing to a cause or course of action. — Garry Kasparov

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