If you had a television in the 1990s until the early 2000s, you might have heard Mr. Ernie Baron say, “Knowledge is power” right before ending his segment on TV.
And if you believe in this statement, we feel you. We’ve upheld this declaration from the moment we heard it until we came across another statement that’s taking quite a different route: Knowledge is not (enough) power.
Before you raise your eyebrows up so high your hairline has to take a step back, let us define what knowledge and power are first.
According to the dictionary, “knowledge” is a noun that means “facts, information, and skills acquired by a person through experience or education; [it is] the theoretical or practical understanding [emphasis added] of a subject.”
“Power,” on the other hand, is defined as “the ability to do something or act in a particular way, especially as a faculty or quality.”
To make it simpler, “knowledge” is what you know and “power” is what you can do.
However, there seems to be a disconnect between these two ideas. How can knowing something automatically be your ability?
Does memorizing the recipe of the world-famous chocolate cake give you the ability to make it?
Maybe yes; maybe no.
Let’s look at more examples.
You have an excellent business idea, but didn’t do anything about it. The idea, which in this case the “knowledge,” remains as it is.
Does that mean it is power?
What if another person has the same idea, makes use of it, and is now running a successful company.
Is knowledge power in this scenario now?
Let’s say you know fire is hot, but you touched it anyway. Did your knowledge stop you from getting burned?
How about if you know there are tools that can make the rest of your accounting life easier, but choose to stick to the tedious method anyway. Is there power in it?
Are you getting the picture?
As you can see, having the information, facts, or skills alone is not useless if you are not going to do something about it. As Dan Lok says in his book F.U. Money, “Knowledge alone is NOT power. Knowledge is really only power in reserve…Only applied [emphasis added] knowledge is power.”
In life–in both personal and professional aspects–knowledge application is necessary. Say in business and accounting, aside from being in the know of the tools that can help you become more productive, you should actually use them. If you can’t pick which ones to employ in your practice, take advantage of the free trials these tools offer so you can know firsthand which are the right fit.
If you want to lessen the challenges you are facing in the workplace, understand how you can minimize it and put these tips into action.
As we have always said, working hard is no longer works; working smart does.
So, yes, knowledge is power. In reserve, that is. It will be useful only if you make it your guide as you navigate life.
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