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Learn Less And Experience More To Create The Life You Want

Do you know someone who just clears your head every time you talk with them? I just got off a Skype chat with that person. Her name’s Luminita, aka The Purpose Fairy (definitely check out her blog).

Every time we chat, she gives my soul a breath of fresh air. Today, I confessed to her something I have been struggling a lot with lately. You may have experienced this too. I was learning too much and applying too little. My focus was out of balance.

Information overload

There are too many things to do and the internet magnifies them x 100. Too many articles to learn. Too many status updates to comment on. Too many funny videos to catch our attention. It’s overwhelming how much information is bombarding our brains every moment. Everything is fighting for our attention.

Here’s a short list of what’s consumed too much of my learning focus lately…

  • Story telling
  • Self publishing
  • How to write short stories
  • Search engine optimization
  • Website traffic
  • Bit coins
  • Learning Thai
  • Time management techniques
  • Ukulele chords
  • Body language
  • Misc personal growth lists
  • Float tanks as a business
  • Starting a business in Thailand
  • Researching new apartments
  • Various meditation techniques
  • Everything about Udemy courses
  • How millionaires think
  • Pickup theory
  • NLP
  • And the list goes on…

It’s hard to spot at first. Can you see the problem? All of these topics are great to learn in their own right, but they do not converge. They do not all support each other. They are too fragmented. Additionally, my brain will not hold them all. I am having a Focus meltdown right now.

It’s time to rethink the way I am structuring my experience. My goal is to achieve certain results. Therefore, I need to focus on the skills that complement each other and the goals I want to achieve.

It would be nice to become exceptional in all of those areas listed above, but there is a cost. An unseen cost.

Insanity, loss of self, and minimal results.

Mind your bowl

You may have had similar times in your life when you just kept learning more and more. Adding more and more knowledge into your brain – to the point of overflowing.


Fill your bowl to the brim
and it will spill.
Keep sharpening your knife
and it will blunt.

Tao Te Ching, 9th verse, as translated by Steven Mitchell

These words fell on my ear, as spoken in this beautiful audio of the Tao, while I was laying in bed last night. It struck a chord deep within my soul and I replayed the verse several times.

I had unconsciously been filling my bowl to the brim. Life was spilling everywhere, with little focus. However, learning was not the problem – it was balance.

Balance your experience

I lost the balance between experience and knowledge. Experience is what life is made of. Not articles, training courses, and books. Too much of my focus was entranced by learning “the next new thing.”

I just need to read this one more article then I’ll get it.

This course will solve all of my problems.

After I read this book, I will be an expert.

Guess what. Experts aren’t made from purely consuming content. Experts are made by applying content and producing results in real life.

Luminita, in our chat, reminded me to let go, turn off, and begin experiencing in order to learn. Now I am refocusing. There is no more time to dilly-dally around like this. My awareness has shown me the nature of the problem, and I will do my best to come back to center.

New focus

I will focus on these main areas to balance learning and doing.


  • More writing!
  • Finishing my book.
  • Writing more blog posts.
  • Writing more guest posts.
  • Implementing traffic techniques for my blog.


  • Learning website Traffic.
  • Learning self publishing.
  • Learning Thai.
  • Learning to say no.

You can see that I picked things closely related to each other (besides Thai lol). My main goal is to improve my writing and grow my audience. Learning traffic, self publishing, and writing guest posts are all aspects of growing my blog. They support each other. I think it’s important to grow complementary skills like this.

Yes, all the rest of those topics from the first list are still very fascinating, but I need to prioritize and focus on who I want to be. What skills do I want to have as a person? What will it take for me to get there?

Here are my priorities.

  1. I want to be an author.
  2. I want to inspire people.
  3. I want to be a great story teller.
  4. I want to live on my own terms.
  5. I want to meet Thai chicks (Priorities, priorities, priorities!).

Focusing, experiencing, and saying no are the keys.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit I’m not an expert at this yet. Architecting a life begins with awareness of what’s happening and what you want to happen instead. I have begun to see that my problem is overfilling my cup.

Now I am letting go. Focusing on who I really want to be. And experiencing the application of learning – instead of just learning.

How do you stay balanced?

If you have experienced a similar dilemma in your life and have some tips or ideas for me, please leave a comment below. I’m curious to see how you approach the obstacles of focus and balance in your life goals.


  • Luminita D. Saviuc

    Tharyn, I am so proud of you. Not because you mentioned my name up there (which I though was really cool) but because of how beautifully you are growing and evolving. You’re doing what your soul is asking you to do, going places, meeting new people… experiencing life. Not too many people have the courage to do this, you know that right?

    Love ya T and keep on being who you are :) xoxo

    • Thanks Luminita. You are a cool like a fox. We should skype before every post I write. hehe. :)

  • Shatish Rao

    Tharyn, you couldn’t have said it any better. I felt as if I was reading about myself. I want to start an online business, learn to code, learn Mandarin, learn piano, copywriting, driving traffic and all this things are not related at all. My mind is a mess and not focused at all.So It makes so much sense to just cut down, prioritize and freaking just do it ( By the way, I thought I was bad until I saw your list,lol). Thanks for sharing dude. Don’t stop what you’re doing, it’s great.

    • Hey Shatish, thank’s for reading. :)

      You list is pretty epic too. I would say, imagine your ideal self in 1 year from now. What skills does that person have. What did it take for him to get there.

      Then you will be able to narrow down that list. I think starting an online business is an awesome idea. (Although I am bias, because I love online biz stuff lol). Also, don’t forget to do stuff you enjoy, no matter how much you prioritize.

      And you don’t stop what you’re doing. Cheers mate!

  • Tharyn! I didn’t have the chance to met you! I am working in Mindvalley now, in the traffic team! Your post is great! I have this feeling all the time! Right now I have 3 different courses open in my browser! (no focus at all). I have a blog and a podcast called travel entrepreneur (in spanish viajero emprendedor). I am going to Chaing Mai in November really looking fordward to meet you over there if you have time! :) big hugs from KL!

    • Hey Vaijero – that’s awesome! Having your own blog and such is really important to staying creative and free. Are you visiting Chiang Mai for lantern fest? Let me know. Cheers!

      • hahaha I didn’t tell you my name! I am Andrea! yes I am going for the lantern festival!

  • Lizzie Bellotto

    Hi Tharyn,
    It’s great to read you post right at the time when turning a new leaf!
    Reading this def makes me smiling and feeling much lighter…It reminds me to breathe and create balance…My bowl is spilling and my focus breakdown started to create doubts and confusion….Working on creating balance by tuning into the soul and listen in order to reshape and focus….Def own priorities, dreams, terms and perception of doing and learning create a better dimension…

    Thank you, keep up awesome evolution and inspiration


    • Thanks Lizzie. I believe we all read things at the perfect time. I hope your new leaf went well, since this reply is a bit late. ;)

      However, from reading your comment I see a great need for people to experience more simplicity in this world of information. The soul really is seeking a bit of space in the cluttered environment of today’s world. I hope to write more on this soon, as I’ve come pretty far since writing this original post.

      Thanks for reading! :)

  • Dan-M

    I feel the same too. I want to learn:
    – mixing music
    – blogging (and everything that comes with that: great writing, seo, traffic, etc…)
    – piano
    – greek
    – entrepreneurship

    I want it all at the same time and… as you perfectly describe in your article, it creates unbalance. My cup is full. I guess I too need to prioritize.

    Thanks for the insights, Tharyn, be well.

    • Hey Dan, those are great skills to learn. Plus, you have variety, which is another aspect of balancing yourself — to not focus on learning ONLY one area, but to get creative with it. What you wrote is awesome. A foreign language. A musical instrument. A creative endeavor. And a way of life.

      Good stuff man. I hope you find your way in learning a bit of those things every day. It’s all in balance and focus. Let me know how it turns out. :)

      Keep an eye on my blog, because I’ll be writing a bit more on learning and habit development this year in 2015.