Whoever first said that knowledge is power was probably selling encyclopedias. Knowledge is a tool, like money and influence. Tools are only powerful if they are used effectively. How, then, do you make a headful of knowledge into a powerful tool?
1. By seeing clearly what can be done.
2. By seeing clearly your own limitations.
3. By acting on what you know.
Wise Action, Not Knowledge, Is Power
Investors often learn so much that they think they can consistently predict the course of the stock market. In reality, there are probably fewer than ten old investors that have never lost money. Wise investors know that the best they can do is get the odds in their favor, so they’ll have more wins than losses. You have to see the limitations of knowledge.
I can read about how to sing, and even get advice from a voice coach, but I can’t sing well. I’m not saying that I could never sing well, only that right now I cannot. If I’m not willing to do what is necessary, then I would be wise to look for a non-singing way to make money. You have to see our own limitations.
The most important part of making knowledge into power, is to act. You can study political philosophy and every aspect of the political process for a decade, and still have no power. Power is in the effective application of what you know.
Imagine an inventor with a hundred ideas on paper. He has a head full of knowledge, and a creative imagination, but nothing to show for it. Now imagine a simple man with one new invention, who understands the limits of innovation without marketing, and sees his own limitations in that area. He seeks out the people that can help, and makes a million. Now that’s power.
The more you know about what you’re doing, the easier it will be to accomplish. This may seem self-explanatory, but many people don’t realize that you can always find out more information. It only takes a few minutes to look up something on the internet, consult a reference book, or call up someone you know has experience with the issue you’re facing.
Gaining knowledge has other benefits as well. The more you know about a given subject, the better you will be able to focus on your goal and work toward it. You cannot reach your destination if you cannot find the path.
Look upon knowledge as the pruning shears of your mental garden, clearing the way for enthusiasm to grow and spread. With the right set of tools, you can accomplish any task easily.
Being committed to achieving your aim is essential to generating a sense of enthusiasm. Whether you want to have gleaming white teeth or flash your pearly whites at crowds of thousands as you accept your Academy Award, you should be completely committed to what you’re trying to accomplish.