The Problem With Knowledge

We seem to value the acquisition of knowledge rather more than the application of it and I guess our time at school must have contributed to that in part. However, I believe we are all much smarter than our behaviour would suggest. This is the result of stuff we know but which we have not yet acted on.

This is the gap between knowledge and wisdom, or between data and information. It is a bit like having all the ingredients for a pizza in the cupboard but going hungry because we have somehow forgotten where they are. This happens all the time. As I listen to clients describing a problem, a solution often occurs to them spontaneously. At that moment it suddenly becomes obvious. The solution was within them all the time but access was limited, until that moment.

“Wisdom consists in knowing what to do with what you know”. – Diogenes Laertius, 150BC

I was reminded of this gap between knowledge and wisdom recently at a recent workshop I ran: ‘Working with Energy’. Early on I talked about the fact that many of the ideas I cover will be familiar. So rather than dismiss them, take the opportunity to consider how to implement them more fully in your lives. i.e. turn the ideas into action and then the action into habits.

One person came in late and missed this message. At the end she gave the workshop the lowest rating of the whole group and wrote: “I learned nothing new”. This was probably true but she may not have considered how to turn her knowledge into habits that served her.

I suspect that the quickest big difference in someone’s life will be made by implementing what they already know rather than learning something new. You might be asking, assuming that is true, how do you begin to do that? Two options are: work with a coach who listens and gives you scope to find your own solutions or make regular time in your schedule to reflect, using a journal.

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