There’s a difference between information and knowledge. This was personally something I had confusion about for many years. It caused me to waste a lot of time.
In The Game we have a saying: Knowledge, Wisdom and Understanding. It breaks down like this:
(1) Knowledge: The learning phase;
(2) Wisdom: Learning how and when to use the knowledge you’ve acquired;
(3) Understanding: The “marriage” of knowledge and wisdom – complete insight.
Because you truly understand something means you can be looked at as an expert. This of course doesn’t mean you know every facet about something, but you could be considered an authority in that particular area you thoroughly understand.
A big problem is that some people get INFORMATION and KNOWLEDGE confused. If you’re not gaining knowledge, then you’re not really learning something. If you’re not learning something, then you may never acquire wisdom about it and reach a full understanding. So to simplify it – which I always like to do – let’s look at the dictionary to define these 2 words.
(1) knowledge communicated or received concerning a particular fact or circumstance; news.
(2) knowledge gained through study, communication, research, instruction, etc.; factual data.
(3) the act or fact of informing.
(1) acquaintance with facts, truths, or principles, as from study or investigation; general erudition.
(2) familiarity or conversance, as with a particular subject or branch of learning.
(3) acquaintance or familiarity gained by sight, experience, or report.
(4) the fact or state of knowing; the perception of fact or truth; clear and certain mental apprehension.
That’s a mouth-full I know. But as we go through these definitions we see some differences. Information is primarily data and facts. Knowledge can also be facts but, it also involves study, investigation, learning, experience, familiarity, and awareness. Getting information can lead to knowledge, but alone it’s just being informed about something. Stay with me.
EXAMPLE: Information would be getting the temperature for the day; the fact that there was an accident on the interstate near you; someone telling you that there’s a sale at your favorite store. Information is good, but there is little learning or study involved as there is with acquiring knowledge.
So, it’s good to discover that your car not starting could possibly be the cause of your battery or alternator (or a few more things), but if you don’t KNOW what those are and how to check them, then you’re stuck. You would have to seek out someone who KNOWS and UNDERSTANDS more than you. You have information but no practical application of that information. You have facts but are unable to apply them to investigate or solve the problem.
If you took the time to learn how the battery and alternator work together in your vehicle, then you would have acquired knowledge; something tangible that you could use.
I’m not sure about you, but when I was in high school learning algebra, a common complaint among us students was, “When are we ever going to use this in real life?”
Granted, this was because we were lazy. However, there’s some validity behind that statement. Although you acquired information (facts) AND knowledge (learning the application of the information), once you know longer use it, you lose it. Unless your career or business path involves mathematics, would you use algebra? Do you even remember the more complicated formulas? Has your child ever come home and asked you for help with their algebra homework and you sat there looking crazy as you tried to recall the information?
You may have learned and gained KNOWLEDGE about algebra at 1 point in your life, but since you stopped using it then you didn’t proceed to gain WISDOM in it. You don’t know how and when to apply algebra equations, so you really don’t UNDERSTAND algebra.
What does all this mean? Glad you asked.
I used to read – a lot. And although I had a lot of information, very little of that was knowledge. I could quote things, recite facts and regurgitate other’s ideas, but if you asked me how to USE that information for my benefit, most of the time I couldn’t.
I would read an entire book on real estate investing. I gathered a lot of information and a little knowledge, but since I never applied that knowledge, then I didn’t really learn anything. It was just facts and statistics floating around in my head. I sounded smart, but I had no WISDOM – I didn’t know HOW or WHEN to apply that knowledge. Therefore I could never claim to completely UNDERSTAND it.
I’ve said this before: knowledge is not enough! The best way to really learn something is to USE it. Then as you make your errors and mistakes you grow wise. You know how to use it and when. After that point, you start to really understand it.
Game is a great thing. It’s all information and knowledge but if you never use it, then you’ll never actually learn it. You end up cutting yourself off from wisdom and understanding. If don’t understand what you’re doing then you could be doing more harm to yourself than good. Peep Game.
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