LEARNING

How to avoid the knowledge trap

Is knowledge really power?

In Summary

•Those caught in the knowledge trap can easily get you excited about what they know

•You can be a knowledge collector or a knowledge doer – the choice is yours.

“Knowledge is power,” we are told. But we still grapple with the implications of too much knowledge. We struggle to fully understand what it means to have access to massive amounts of data. Is it a good or bad thing? Are there diminishing returns? Now, we have inboxes overflowing with emails, tons of books available online, websites, social media, and multiple sources of knowledge. In the twenty-first century, we drown in knowledge. So that it could easily feel like a trap.

For many, knowledge has become a tool for pride. They believe that knowledge makes them special. So, they put much effort into becoming encyclopedias. This group is quick to flaunt their knowledge and relish the awe and admiration of people who are impressed by their vast knowledge. Knowing is a high that they enjoy; for them, knowledge is a drug.

Knowledge pride makes people believe that knowledge is more important than action and this belief is the knowledge trap. So that now, we have more people talking about what they plan to do and fewer people doing their plans. The knowledge trap is the thinking that tricks your mind to believe that knowing and doing are the same thing when it’s not. Knowing does not mean that you’re doing.

Those caught in the knowledge trap can easily get you excited about what they know. They can easily paint pictures of the future based on their wealth of knowledge. These people are easily visionaries. But the challenge is usually action because they are knowledge-and-talk-oriented, but not action-oriented. They enjoy the intellectual stimulation of knowledge but lack the skill to act on what they know. They know much and do little or nothing.

How do you avoid the knowledge trap? One: change your mindset. Switch from knowledge thinking to action thinking. This mind-shift sets you on the path to getting results. Two: commit to knowledge practice. Like you, I am a knowledge addict, but I’ve committed to practicing what I know. You can be a knowledge collector or a knowledge doer – the choice is yours.

Three: teach what you know. When you teach others what you know you become accountable to them for the knowledge that you possess. They will call you out when you don’t practice what you preach. This would help keep you committed to doing what you know. The beauty of knowing is doing. Don’t settle for half the experience; fully enjoy the essence of knowledge by doing what you know.

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