Is Knowledge Really Power?

I wanted to share something today – as I do every day – on specialized knowledge and specifically the question whether you need specialized knowledge in order to reach your desire. These thoughts do not come from me directly but they are from Napoleon Hill’s book Think And Grow Rich from the chapter on specialized knowledge.

General and Specialized Knowledge

First of all, Hill distinguishes between two forms of knowledge: general knowledge and specialized knowledge. He continues to say that general knowledge does not have very much use and has less value than specialized knowledge. This specialized knowledge on the other hand is usually much harder to attain and generally considered more valuable.

However, what is important to keep in mind is that knowledge is only can help you attain your desire in so far as that it is organized and used in an action plan.

Knowledge and Power

There is a common misconception that knowledge is power because knowledge is only potential power. Knowledge has to be organized and applied to a particular situation and be transformed into actionable steps it actually becomes power. Hill mentions as an example how academics at university are usually paid poorly even though they possess an abundance of specialized knowledge but in applying to the acquisition of money.

He further talks about the story of Henry Ford and how people tried to make him look ignorant by revealing that he did not have a lot of knowledge about history, politics, etc. Ford then replies that he can summon various experts on all topics with the push of a button and could receive any sort of specialized knowledge related to the practical business venture he found himself pursuing.

This concept Ford had made use of intuitively is referred to in the book as the mastermind and will be discussed more in depth in a later chapter.

Three Steps to Organize Knowledge

In Think And Grow Rich, Hill develops three steps regarding specialized to figure out whether you actually need it and how best to use it:

The first step he suggests is to ask what kind of specialized knowledge you will need in order to achieve your desired outcome. The second question is, what the sources of knowledge are and the third on relates to the organization and direction of that knowledge.

Lastly I just want to highlight one point I found crucial which is that there should be a decent balance between education and motivation. As Napoleon Hill states in his book, there is no cure for a lack of ambition which is why it is so important to have your desire implanted before and gain knowledge in accordance with that desire. The steps, thus, should as follow:

  1. Know your desired outcome
  2. Gain the knowledge necessary to achieve
  3. Apply the knowledge to your situation and transform into action


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