Orthopraxy, not orthodoxy

A few months ago, author, pastor (and my homeboy) Jim Henderson educated me on the difference between orthoDOXY and orthoPRAXY:

The word orthodoxy comes from the Greek ortho (‘correct’) and doxa (‘thought’).

The correct thoughts.

The word orthopraxy comes from the Greek ortho (‘correct’) and proxis (‘action’).

The correct actions.

Traditionally, these two words are used in a religious context.

Of course, that’s not what I’m talking about.

This is about business. About relationships. About life.

SO HERE’S THE QUESTION: What’s better: having the correct thoughts, or the correct actions?

It seems to me that theory, information, thoughts, ideas, blah blah blah, are all vital things; but without action, they don’t amount to much.


People don’t give you credit for what they HEAR you SAY consistently.

People only give you credit for what they SEE you DO consistently.

Because action is eloquence, as Shakespeare said.
Because actions speak louder than birds, as Ali G said.

Now. This doesn’t mean orthopraxy is “better” than orthodoxy.

It’s just quicker.

And more authentic.
And more believable.
And more persuasive.
And more approachable.

Ultimately, orthopraxy means instead of practicing what you preach, you’re preaching what you practice.

In the words of the aforementioned Jim Henderson’s new book:

“Action changes everything … so, major in practices and minor in principles.

Practices are attitudes that translate directly into actions. In fact, they often start in the opposite direction.

We start practicing the practice even before we understand or perhaps believe it, which often leads to surprising changes in us (and our relationships with people) we normally wouldn’t known how to relate to.”

LESSONS LEARNED: action isn’t only eloquence; action is character.

DO something first, THEN tell people about.
DO something first, THEN tell people what you learned.
DO something first, THEN encourage people to do the same.

Do as I DO, not as I SAY.

Orthopraxy, not orthodoxy.

Thanks Jim!

Are you thought-oriented or action-oriented?

Tell us how you use action (not words) to persuade.

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Download Scott’s new book!
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Author. Speaker. Strategist. Songwriter. Filmmaker. Inventor. Gameshow Host. World Record Holder. I also wear a nametag 24-7. Even to bed.
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