Undoubtedly, we live in the age of expert knowledge and boundless information. At the touch of a button or swipe of a screen, we can discover so much about a range of subjects. “Googling it” or watching a You Tube tutorial have become the “go-to” behavior of this knowledge generation. Not much is hidden from us and it has become almost too easy for us to claim to be experts in any given field.
As a lover of knowledge myself, I well understand the high which new knowledge can bring. But even as we interface more with new information, we must begin to question whether or not or how much we are actually benefiting from it. With our tablets and smart phones we appear to be eternally on line but are we being developed positively as a result of the World Wide Web or are we simply allowing it to consume our time? Do we gain or do we lose?
While some of us may use the technology mainly for social networking purposes or for entertainment, there is still so much to be learned about the power of harnessing networks for our personal or professional leverage. But do we even get it? Owning the knowledge we consume (as opposed to being owned by it) means understanding how to allow new knowledge to work for us. Being owned by it means becoming a slave to every new fad or trend without determining whether or not it is right for us. With the pressures social networks can bring, it can become all too easy to be simply “trending” as opposed to changing.
So whether it is developing our skills in financial investment or being more environmentally responsible; whether it’s about catching the “know how” to start a new business, to become a more insightful leader, or to make our relationships better, the knowledge that we interface with daily should bring obvious change to our lives. For example, we know so much about the dangers of fad diets versus a complete healthy lifestyle change, that we should run far from quick fixes when it comes to an issue like weight loss.
Yet having knowledge and being disciplined are two entirely different things. Knowledge can be the initial impetus for any significant life change; so from that perspective, knowledge will always be critical. It is, however, our passion for change and our internal discipline, which will see that change become something that is sustained. When these three factors are combined; knowledge + passion + discipline, then we will grow and change in ways which will not only enrich our lives but which will make us more valuable to others.