Photo Credit: Pexels, Ketut Subiyanto

Knowledge Is Only Power If You Use It

“Knowledge is power.” It’s a common phrase that rings in the minds of people all across the country. And the world. Which makes sense. Because it’s a phrase repeated in classrooms, households, shows on PBS KIDS, R-rated movies, and more. It’s repeated so often that we believe it to be true without argument. But there should be a caveat.

Knowledge is power. But only if you use it.

What good is knowledge if it’s not applied?

Knowledge is essential for survival. For success. Doesn’t matter if we’re talking about humans or wildlife. To “make it” in any given environment, living creatures must know how to navigate the terrain. More importantly, we must actually navigate it.

What good is it if a pack of wolves know how to hunt together but never do? What good is it if a doctor knows how to save their patient’s life but fails to act? If a gazelle knows how to evade a lion but doesn’t make the moves, will it not be killed and eaten? If a student knows the answers to every test question but never actually answers the questions, will they not fail?

Knowledge not applied is about as good as a toolbox that never gets used. The tools are right there to build anything. But the tools themselves can do nothing. It’s about how a builder takes and uses them. That is when the power is revealed.

Learn to use what you learn

Everyone has more knowledge than they think they do. Especially since knowledge isn’t just what you learn in the classroom. You gain all sorts of knowledge from all sorts of experiences—playing video games, talking with strangers, traveling abroad, you name it. So much so that you’ll probably forget most of what you know until there’s a conversation or some other occurrence that makes it relevant.

Considering this, you don’t have to use every single piece of knowledge you have to further your career, grow your finances, impress your friend’s family, and the like. But if you know you have and/or are gaining comprehensive knowledge about a subject, it’s important to learn to use what you learn. Not doing so would be a waste of the time you put in to gain the knowledge!

Ace your college accounting courses? Even if you don’t want to be an accountant, you could use what you learned to teach others as a tutor. Your favorite cooking show teach you how to make a new dish? Then go make it! In every arena, repeat this simple cycle: learn, use what you’ve learned, repeat.

Knowledge is only power if you use it. So use it well.

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