Knowledge is knowing it is a one-way street. Wisdom is still looking both ways before crossing.
Knowledge is knowing Frankenstein was the doctor. Wisdom is knowing that Frankenstein was the monster.
Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad.
Knowledge is being able to clone a dinosaur. Wisdom is asking if that is really a good idea.
Knowledge is knowing that your wife is wrong. Wisdom is deciding not to argue with her.
Knowledge is knowing the ingredients. Wisdom is knowing the recipe.
Knowledge speaks. Wisdom listens.
Recently my 38 year old son asked me an interesting question. “Dad, how does it feel to be 70 years old?” I started telling him about needing a twenty minute nap in the afternoon and not clearly understanding all the words, even when I heard somebody say something.
He stopped me and said that wasn’t what he meant. He wanted to know about things like how I felt about my life experiences and how they compared to my expectations. I thought that was very insightful, and he was definitely the first “young” person to even act as if they cared to hear my opinion about much of anything.
I had a quick flashback in my mind to when I was a young teenager in the early 1960’s. I recall my dad getting aggravated at my ready-fire-aim perspective on life. More than once I remember him reminding me I wasn’t as smart as I thought I was. He would shake his head when he could tell I didn’t really want to hear his opinion, or want to know his experience about “life stuff.” Within five years he and my mom both passed away. It dawned on me that I would have really liked to know how dad re-wired the kitchen toaster that shorted out. I wish I’d paid attention to mom when she mixed up the ingredients for homemade ice cream. I could hand crank the freezer, but don’t know what all went in there.
I began to become more humble, asking for help and advice. Whenever there was something I really cared about, I would find a mentor and interrogate them about how to do it. Whether it was my grandpa or my boss, I started asking for specific instructions and then I’d follow them.
I remember more than once, seeking out successful people and saying to them, “I’m willing to do whatever it takes to achieve what you have accomplished. Please show me exactly what I should do and I promise to do it over and over as long as it takes until I win.”
I told my son that decades later I’m now that guy who has accumulated enough knowledge to distill some wisdom. I’m no Solomon, but feel that I have “broken the code” in several areas of life. I answered his question by telling him I’m wondering why younger folks aren’t “bugging” me to help them find the blueprints, like I did years ago. How will they learn to be successful investors and achieve financial independence? How will they become successful entrepreneurs, and avoid punching a clock on a job for the rest of their lives?
Regardless what they seriously want to achieve, how will they learn the ropes?
I’m thinking that folks don’t want to sit and listen to old men and women bloviate and show what they know. I think they would rather Google it or watch a YouTube video, hoping to get some usable information without having to leave the house or talk with another human.
So, that’s how I feel about being 70. I progressed in life by multiplication and not addition, by standing on the shoulders of successful people who preceded me. Whatever you’re interested in mastering in life, find someone who’s done it well and copy them. Don’t reinvent the wheel; just roll with it!
I was in an audience where Doug was speaking about ways for salespeople to improve their communication skills. He was spot on. He was interesting, witty, to the point, and made suggestions that I will definitely share with my employees. Joe Kirshner, Huntington, WV. Meet Doug HERE.
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