Friday, September 13, 2013

The Difference Between Knowing and Being Wise

Personification of wisdom (in Greek, "Σοφ...
Sophia, personification of wisdom (Wikipedia)
by Richard Brody

There is often a significant difference between possessing or having some knowledge, as compared to actually being wise.

One can often gain knowledge through education and training, but the transformation to the level of wisdom requires considerably greater focus.

This focus must include transforming training to actual learning, using experiences to develop expertise, gaining real judgment so that one's actions have a real impact, and using data, facts and information in order to gain the ability to properly interpret the raw data, so as to implement the right steps to get things done.

1. One can claim to be knowledgable because he has accumulated facts and information, through taking courses, reading books, observing others, etc. However, until and unless one uses these ingredients in such a manner where he is capable of properly interpreting what he has learned and using that knowledge in a practical, real-life scenario, he rarely achieves in a meaningless way. This is often similar to comparing the duties of a statistician and comparing those to someone who is a financial expert with real economic savvy.

2. Every day, we are exposed to information and gain experiences. The difference in whether we are merely knowing as compared to being wise is often whether we simply gather an ever - increasing number of random bits of information, or whether we develop valuable judgment. We only gain the all - important judgment when we truly learn rather than merely gather. The squirrel who just accumulates acorns but merely stores them and never uses them, obviously limits its potential, etc.

3. These random bits of information, data and exposure, when gathered together, make up our personal experience and experiences. However, just going through something and not doing anything towards achieving success rarely has any meaningful impact. When we actually learn from experiences, and become better at what we do, and then gain the ability to train others to extend the meaningfulness of what we prioritize, we become real experts.

4. Many individuals go to courses, seminars, etc., and take an extensive amount of training. However, while we hopefully become exposed to a considerable amount of knowledge and information, the true test of wisdom may be whether we actually learn important lessons from this knowledge. When our training becomes transformed to learning, and when we seek wisdom rather than just more raw data, we exponentially enhance our ability to have a significant impact on both ourselves and others.

Do you strive for knowledge, or desire wisdom? Think about the process you follow, and your commitment to doing what it requires to carry about that transformation.

Richard has owned businesses, been a COO, CEO, and Director of Development, as well as a consultant. He has professionally run events, consulted to over a thousand leaders, and conducted personal development seminars, for over 30 years.

Rich has written three books and well over a thousand articles. His company, PLAN2LEAD, LLC has an informative website and Plan2lead can also be followed on Facebook

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