by J.F. (Jim) Straw
When you have learned that 2 + 2 = 4, you have gained a useful piece of “information.” – When you have learned that 2 apples + 2 apples = 4 apples, but, that 2 apples + 2 oranges = 2 apples & 2 oranges, or 2 pairs of fruit, or 4 fruits, you have gained all-important “knowledge.”
Information is nice to know. It lets you answer the questions on tests (or when watching TV game shows). But, until you learn to use that information in a practical application, it isn't knowledge.
Any child of 2 or 3 years of age can tell you that 2 + 2 = 4. They have heard it repeated, over & over, until they can repeat it themselves. But, when confronted with 4 apples, they are at a loss to apply that information.
The same holds true for older students (and even adults) who can readily tell you that Einstein's Theory of Relativity can be expressed by the formula, E = M times C squared. – Until they know what the E, M & C stand for and can use the formula in a practical application, it is only information, not knowledge.
A fine line exists between information and knowledge. That fine line is nothing more than “use.” — You can memorize bits and pieces of information all day, every day, but, until you actually use that information, it is not knowledge. Once used, information becomes knowledge and, thereby, power.
SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE; whether they be self-employed or wage-earners, executive or common laborer, are seekers after knowledge. They absorb information from every direction. The information they can use becomes knowledge, while the information they have no apparent use for is simply stored on the chance that someday it may become useful.
UN-SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE, on the other hand, claim to be seekers of knowledge, but, they believe that knowledge itself can be imparted. Because the books they read, the courses they take, and the plans they buy contain only “information.,” they are forever disappointed. Because it is ONLY INFORMATION (not the “knowledge” they thought they were going to get), they never use the information and, thereby, the knowledge they sought is lost to them forever.
Since I am the author of a great many books, booklets, reports, articles and editorials about success and making & using money (somewhere over 300 so far), those people stick-out like sore-thumbs on my customer lists. They write me long letters detailing their trials and tribulations and explain to me just why the information won't work for them. But, not one ever writes to say “I used the information and it didn't work.” – Had they ever used the information, that information would have turned into knowledge and they could have reaped the rewards they have coveted for so long.
If there was a way I could “force” those people to use the information they have, I could literally GUARANTEE their success. And, in those few cases over the years where I have been able to shame or intimidate people into actually using the information I have provided, those people have achieved successes they had only dreamed were possible.
The RULES OF SUCCESS used by successful people & businesses since the beginning of time have never really changed. Those rules have been written-down for all to read, learn and use, but they appear as “information” only and can only be changed to “knowledge” by use. If there were a way to “force” every person and every business to “use” those known and proven rules of success, there would be NO UN-successful people or businesses in the world.
Statistically, 90% of small businesses fail, and 90% of people live a life of sustained mediocrity, simply because they will not “use” the information available to them.
In your quest for financial independence you MUST learn to force yourself to use the information you have at your disposal. — No one (but YOU) is going to force you to assume that responsibility.
Of course, some smart aleck reading this is going to say, “Yeah! But, I'm not going to use any bad information.”
Granted, there is bad (counter-productive) information out there. BUT – there is NO WAY of telling good information from bad information, UNTIL YOU TRY IT. Judging the value of information without using it is like trying to judge the flavor of a pie without ever tasting it.
If you learn nothing else from life, learn that information only becomes knowledge when you use it – and – the information you have used or failed to use in the past is the reason you are where you are today.
YOU can be your best friend, or your worst enemy. No one forces you to be what you are, or do what you do (or don't do). – What you have today is a direct result of what you did yesterday. What you will have tomorrow will be a direct result of what you do (or don't do) today.
It's up to you!
Having spent over 50 years in business, doing business successfully, J.F. (Jim) Straw now shares “Practical Instruction in the Arts & Sciences of Making Money” at the Business Lyceum. — http://www.businesslyceum.com