Knowledge is nothing without Insight & Wisdom
Few statements have anchored themselves so deeply in the in the collective consciousness of humanity than “Knowledge is Power”.
It is one of those simplistically insightful lines that might on, it’s face, sound impressive. I am writing this article from the position however that this statement, is only made true, when a couple of other very important concepts are added onto this logic chain, thus creating a more complete statement of universally applicable truth.
You see, the one thing that the statement “Knowledge is Power” really fails at conveying is a sense of humility. And yet, it happens all the time, ideas are upturned and new standards emerge slowly at first before they overtake ideas which may have been entrenched for hundred or even thousands of years.
Knowledge is only powerful after it has been vetted, proven or otherwise established.
Without these qualifications, there is absolutely nothing to separate what is true knowledge from what is just background noise, delusions or otherwise inferior sources of information.
And yet, what exactly do these classifications really mean?
Knowledge might seem powerful but without the ability to discern it dynamically, you can never be sure. This is of course, exactly what separates the true innovators from those who are able to repackage the ideas of others in exciting yet ultimately unoriginal ways.
It is tremendously challenging to build a new complex system. Building off an existing one is fairly simple, designing something new, well that now that in my opinion is actually pretty powerful.
Knowledge, you see only becomes “powerful” once it has stagnated, become status quo and is accepted without question.
Ideas that have not been scientifically or personally validated just exist, floating just outside our perception or focus. We so often fail to see what we are not expecting to find. That is why it is so challenging to try to solve problems effectively.
It is extremely hard to know that you have arrived at the best solution even if the all the knowledge you have collected suggests that this is the case.
There is quite simply so way to know the entire causal chain and series of connections between any one idea and the creation of anything else. It is easy to say that you accomplished just what you set out to do, that your knowledge was power but how can you really know?
Insight is Everything
Insights are what lead to the accumulation of knowledge.
They are little kernels and nuggets of understanding which only take on meaning when they are connected in a logical chain. From the basis of some small personal insights, the wealth of human knowledge has been created, in a slow sequential way as people have come to agree on what pieces of knowledge hold what specific powers.
The creation of alphanumeric systems and the scientific method helped to codify the knowledge accumulation process. These systems made it easier for humans to discuss new ideas and move closer towards a consensus.
Insights became knowledge.
Knowledge was accepted but why?
Often any insights which challenge the prevailing knowledge around a given problem or area of understanding are rejected vehemently at first, laughed off, disregarded until a 100th monkey emerges and slowly the seemingly powerful knowledge slowly begins to collapse under it’s own absurdity.
At this point, it will be useful to introduce the notion of wisdom.
The Wisdom to Know, The Power to See
Wisdom is the process of learning itself, of cultivating innovation.
Insights lead to knowledge, knowledge leads to power (of questionable significance) and wisdom is the only way shift the pendulum back closer to a point of truth.
Knowledge is only useful when it has been built of logical insights based on the best available information.
Knowledge is only powerful when it has been reinforced with wisdom or collective proof. Even at this point, it is important to remember that proof only allows for a consensus to build thus establishing any singular kernel of truth or nugget of knowledge as “powerful”.
Consensuses are wonderful because they have allowed us to create a very innovative society but they also hold us back from questioning our deeply held ideals and bases of knowledge. This why the true power comes in being able to accept that knowledge has limits.
Only in seeing the potential for your ideas to be wrong will you be able to be wise enough to try something new when the time comes.
Wisdom allows for new reflections or insights to form. Knowledge is created from this base allowing for the wisdom to discern to again lead to more insights.
True power comes when you are able to see the limits your insights and the bases of knowledge have lead to.
For all of these reasons, you should now be able to see why: THE USE OF KNOWLEDGE is POWERFUL. The knowledge itself is only a reflection of the lack of discussion and chances being taken.
You may be asking yourself what any of this has to do with business, investment or entrepreneurship.
The answer is simple.
Anchoring the Millionaire Mentality in Your Mind
As business minded entrepreneurs, we are known for taking chances. Being able to trust the insights that we have been exposed to before they have been more fully developed into a base of knowledge is often what represents the risk leading to the rewards we so often seek.
If you wait to close a deal until it is a sure thing, often other more savvy and potentially resource laden investors swoop in. It is always far easier to be guided by the safety of our supposedly powerful knowledge then to see the power in being wise enough to know.
Taking chances is actually a very risky behavior.
The path is the path because it seemed like such a safe bet.
Those investors who swooped in and stole a prospective life changing deal from you did so only because they were following insights which lead to a path and a base of knowledge which felt wise.
There is no way to know if the path we are on is the right one.
The best any of us can hope to do is arrive at honest and true reflections, build the insights we need to feel secure in our choices and the wisdom to understand the immense multiplicity and mystery behind any one choice.
Knowledge is not power, it is acceptance.
Insight is not knowledge, it is the beginning of a conversation.
Wisdom is insight leading to knowledge which leads to more insight.
Do not seek to be right, seek to be correct.
Do not aspire to power, aspire to purpose.
Do not get fooled into believing you are right, be powerful enough to know you could be wrong.
True power comes from building and using knowledge insightfully, acting and living from a place of wisdom, accepting that your ideas could be right or wrong and dedicating yourself to always asking questions and never forgetting how important it is to properly discern every piece of knowledge that comes across your desk or enters your awareness.
Success in business means seeing the power in surrender and the immense peace to be found in the eye of any storm.
Move nimbly and with an open mind, challenge all ideas and question all knowledge, seek to cultivate wisdom above all else. This is only possible through practice, repetition, and critical self analysis.
Use every day you have to enhance your awareness and your ability to discern. The more you practice critical thinking skills, the easier problem solving will be for you.
The easier it is for you to balance being right with being correct, the closer you will be to having the wisdom to know, the power to create and the knowledge act in your best interest.
Ego is a trap and wisdom is the solution.
The way you use the insights at your disposal, to build bases of knowledge which will allow you to ultimately cultivate wisdom, will make all the difference in finding it.