Only Knowledge Applied Is Valuable
April 24, 2022
After a gap of almost four years, I caught up with a dear friend on a recent trip to India. He graciously told me that he was an active follower of my blog. Moreover, he expressed curiosity about how I mustered the discipline to form and stick to new habits. He wished he could be as disciplined as I was.
I shared with him the ideas that I picked up from a couple of books like “Atomic Habits” and Focus. Surprisingly, my friend told me he had also read the books and knew all the key ideas.
This conversation intrigued me.
My friend and I had read the same books. Both of us knew the ideas behind making and forming new habits. The same learning transformed my life but did nothing for him- why? Because,
Knowledge Is Not Valuable In Of Itself
In a world overflowing with information, we read up a lot, follow blogs, listen to podcasts, and acquire general knowledge. But unfortunately, somewhere along the way, we fall into the illusion of thinking knowledge is power. Because of this illusion, we keep seeking out more information, more knowledge- aimlessly- hoping that it will somehow make us smarter, better.
Knowledge Becomes Valuable Only When You Apply
The difference between my friend and I simply came down to this one crucial factor- I understood the key ideas, internalized them, and applied them in my day-to-day life, while he did not. This helped me experience the benefit of the knowledge, whereas, for my friend, it was information that decayed because he did not apply it in any way.
So, here are a couple of ideas for the weekend.
- All the knowledge acquired is utterly redundant if it does not change how we think or behave. Knowledge has value only when it helps us think and act better.
- Knowing about something is not the same as knowing How to do something. To truly understand and internalize what we learn, we must apply it. The “How To” part of knowing is best learned by actually doing. We learn best by doing.