Google, for many of us is now a way of life. We don’t remember things, we look them up. In many ways this is a great, but in some ways it’s not. In many ways we treat information, Knowledge and wisdom as the same, but these are different things.
We are in the information age. Information is everywhere. Just about anything you want to know is available on the internet. All we have to do is look it up.
One of the best benefits of having information so available is that we don’t have to remember so many things as we used to. We can free up our mind to work on greater, more important things.
When I was a younger, I would remember phone numbers for important people in my life. Now days, I don’t remember them so much. I have about 3 phone numbers memorized, and the rest I always look up. And I don’t exactly look them up either. I pick the person’s name in my contact list and I click ‘dial.’
One of the biggest drawbacks to information is that we miss out on a lot of deep knowledge that comes from being in and around a topic for a long period of time. We don’t remember a lot of details. We look them up. And there’s really only so much depth we can get when we look something up, read for a few minutes, and call it good.
If we take an example from car Driving, information is being able to look up driving controls on the internet, and get a 60 second view of the steering wheel and dashboard. But if later you need that information again, you’d probably need to look it up again to see the details you forgot.
Knowledge is a deeper understanding than information. Knowledge is not only about retaining the facts on something, but it also includes a deeper understanding the inner workings of something. There’s a difference between, “I know,” and “I can find out.”
If we take the driving example further, knowledge is more like having experienced driving. We know how far to push the gas pedal to accelerate at a good pace without burning rubber. We know how to steer the car so it takes the corner smoothly. And we know how soon to start pressing on the brakes so we can smoothly stop in time without having to jam hard on the brakes at the last moment.
Wisdom takes things even deeper than knowledge. Wisdom is applying the knowledge we have to real situations. Wisdom doesn’t come easy, and often it takes time and experience for it to develop in an area.
If we continue the driving example, wisdom is knowing that when another driver is driving a certain way, it probably means he wants to change lanes to take the upcoming freeway exit. And if I slow down a bit to give him room, it will probably avoid an accident.
Pulling It Together
When we stick with information, we are just skimming the surface. Knowledge takes us deeper. However the deepest knowing comes from experience which is where we gain wisdom.
A big part of wisdom is gaining a bigger perspective. Instead of just looking at what’s in front of us, we learn that things are much more interconnected. What I choose about what’s in front of me, affects other people and other areas of my life as well. And this feeds back and influences what I experience including what ends up in front of me tomorrow, next week or next month.
What is so important to you that you would want to gain a deep wisdom in this area? What is so deeply meaningful to you that you would want to have experience and wisdom rather than knowledge or information?
If you want to get a big picture perspective on your life and make some new meaningful choices about your life’s direction, we invite you to our upcoming event: Life Impact Academy: Significance. The event is coming up real soon. Call (916) 783-2622 if you have any questions. You won’t regret aligning your life to your deepest passions and most closely held values.
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