“I have secrets to unfold. But before we begin this journey together, you must appreciate that a secret’s value is not in what you know, but in what you do.” – Author Dan Millman in his book The Way of the Peaceful Warrior
L. Tom Perry, currently a leader in the LDS church, tells the story about when he was just starting out in the business world. His boss, a successful businessman who probably didn’t have the formal education that Elder Perry had been fortunate to obtain, called him into his office and stated “Give me a definition of interest.”
Wanting to impress his new boss Elder Perry thought back to his days in school and gave him a textbook definition along the lines of “Interest is the amount paid for the use of borrowed money.” His boss stopped him and said “No, no, no, that’s not the one I want. You listen and remember this one: Thems that understands it, earns it; and thems that don’t, pays it.”
Richard Paul Evans, bestselling author of The Christmas Box, grew up in a family that struggled financially. One evening his father called a family meeting. When everyone had gathered together his father announced “I’ve spent the last three days figuring out why, after all these years of hard work, I have nothing to show for it but bills. Do you know where [all the money] goes? …It goes to interest. All those heartbeats went to paying interest to make someone else wealthy.” He knew the definition of interest, but had just figured out he didn’t understand it.
What about you? Do you understand interest – really understand it – or just know the definition? If you don’t understand it yet, do you have a plan to gain that understanding? Remember, knowing, and not doing, is not much better than not knowing at all.