I recently found myself admiring a family’s home library. There were probably close to a hundred books – on self-improvement, diet, business, faith, finance, success…you name it. Everything you could possibly want to master was covered between the pages of all those books. And when you stop to consider and compound those books in one family’s library with the absolute plethora of podcasts, blogs, YouTube videos, magazines, the Internet and countless sources of information, you realize how much information and knowledge is available to us these days.
So that begs the question: how can there be so much available information, and yet we’re still struggling…still poor, still overweight, still haven’t arrived at our goals or accomplished our dreams? How can that be with so much information available to us? How come those of us who read voraciously don’t have everything in life “figured out”?
Good questions, right? Have you wondered those same things?
In 1597, Sir Francis Bacon supposedly used the term “Knowledge is power” in his meditations. And for over 500 years, we’ve been repeating the same mantra. And I’m sure they didn’t have quite so much knowledge available at their fingertips in 1597 as we do now.
But I propose that we don’t adopt that belief as truth today. Because knowledge is not power. In fact, knowledge can be a pacifier. If we think that one more book, or one more truth or one more realization is going to be our big breakthrough, than knowledge is in danger of being our panacea. We’ll keep running around and chasing that one new breakthrough, or book, or system…only to find ourselves bankrupt, fat and – worse yet – disillusioned.
The reality is, we don’t need more knowledge. We have too much already.
Here’s what I mean. I have a herb garden. I love growing beautifully aromatic and delicious herbs. One of my favorites is the delicate basil plant, so I grow several varieties of basil. And my basil plants love and need water. But if I thought “my plants love water, so I should give them plenty of it” and I were to turn a fire hose on my basil, what do you think would happen to my basil plant? It would be decimated by the very thing it needs to survive – because it’s too much, too fast and therefore has no value to my plant. In fact, what would normally be good for my basil, is now detrimental to it.
It’s no different with our need for knowledge. We don’t benefit from a barrage – or firehouse – of information. We need a slow, steady drip. Something that we can consume. I’ll go one step further and say, we don’t need any more knowledge.
Knowledge is not power. The application of knowledge is power. We need one piece of knowledge that we actually take action on. Then we need to apply that one piece of knowledge to our daily lives.
Take diet. We don’t need any more diet books. We need to apply what we already know about making good food choices and moving more.
Take success. We don’t need any more get-rich-quick books. We need to apply what we know about focusing on what creates success, and eliminating time wasters.
You get the idea. It comes down to applying one thing at a time. One day at a time.
So my challenge for you today is to apply one piece of knowledge that you already know. Pick any area, and just do that. And do it again tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after that.