What is intellectual masturbation

Mental masturbation

Advice blogs and forums are often the first place to go when looking for solutions to problems. But how many articles and posts did you sift through and nothing came of it? The web is full of blogs for every topic imaginable. Kunstundso is one of them. Regardless of whether it is about Photoshop skills, speaking in front of an audience or just doing Pilates exercises to get the back pain under control. For every problem, the solution is just a click away on Google. Nearly.

There is no lack of information, instructions or tutorials. There is a lack of concrete action to put something into practice. It's like talking in a bar where the biggest ideas are hatched and then quickly forgotten. I caught myself reading my way through blogs and forums to find a suitable method to properly structure all appointments, tasks and ideas. So that nothing falls by the wayside. In theory, I now know a lot of time management strategies. But all of this is dead knowledge if it is not actively integrated into everyday life. You can't fight just reading a kung fu book. Only real training brings results. That's exactly what counts in the end.

Get me right: It is important to gather enough information to make the right decision. But at a certain point, action must follow. If you have passed this point, further reading is just a welcome distraction so that you don't have to act. Reading five more articles on an effective workout plan is more convenient than getting up from your desk and just doing 20 pushups. But that's what ultimately matters. Everything else is mental masturbation. It gives you a good feeling to deal with the topic intellectually. Knowledge is great. But knowledge alone does not bring about change.

This applies to all projects. Even the very little ones. Take this article. He must have misspellings, and work can still be done on the printout. But he's online for now. Fortunately, I have friends who are better at these disciplines and who correct me afterwards. If I were to put forward these inadequacies (and I do that more often than I would like) then this post would still be on the hard drive between recipes and the last Dexter season.

Do you know the conversations about new projects in which someone doesn't really want to reveal their idea because it is so brilliant? He's afraid that someone will steal his idea. Who knew of this idea would be a made man? The idea alone is not worth much. Only the implementation matters. Derik Sivers, the founder of CD Baby, once explained this very well with an example:

  • • bad idea: -1
  • • weak idea: 1
  • • so-so idea: 2
  • • good idea: 5
  • • great idea: 10
  • • brilliant idea: 20


  • • no implementation: 1 €
  • • weak implementation: € 1,000
  • • So-so implementation: € 10,000
  • • Good implementation: € 100,000
  • • Great implementation: € 1,000,000
  • • ingenious implementation: € 10,000,000

One point from the first list must be multiplied by one from the second. Here it becomes clear that a "brilliant idea" without implementation is worth 20 euros. A “so-so idea” with good implementation comes to 500,000 euros. Execution is all that matters!

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