Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The More I Learn, the Less I Know

There is a kind of knowledge that can make you mindless.
There is a kind of intelligence that will leave you empowered.

Last night I went to see a lecture by Dr. Andrew Weil. He talked a lot about integrative medicine and what vitamins, supplements, etc are useful to maintaining and improving our health. He carried no notes, his leaned on the side of the podium like he was having a conversation with a good friend. The theater we were in was packed. HIs voice was clear and his words were fluent. Having no background in medicine, I understood what he was telling me, his words were clear. Delivering his talk was easy because he knew each fact, detail and story. His research is extensive, his travels have been far. I can't imagine knowing so much.

That hour and a half speech was a very healthy reminder for me. One I have often, but am astounded by it everytime.

The more I learn, the less I know. Each time I feel I've become an expert on a particular topic, I wake up to the realization that I've only captured a small slice of the knowledge available. To think that I've even come close to enlightenment is a fantasy. Sometimes I let myself live in that fantasy. Particularly when I've captured a great tool for personal empowerment. Realistically, my world has just opened up a little bit more. A tiny fragment of light coming in through a thousand doors still in front of me waiting eagerly to be opened at the right time.

In my opinion, knowledge works in two ways. It can open your mind to new possibilities, opportunities and higher thinking. OR, it can aid you in closing your mind to thinking there is only one right way. I try my best to remember that my world is limited by what I know and there is always more to learn. There is a kind of knowledge that can make you mindless.
There is a kind of intelligence that will leave you empowered.

That being said, two wonderful things come from limited knowledge. First, what you do learn will inspire action. By tipping off your interest on a particular topic, you attract others who can fortify that knowledge, or open new doors toward your goal. For instance, when I heard about coaching, I knew nothing about the field except that I was curious. That curiosity led to questions. From those questions, I met others who had hired coaches, which led to coaches who were practicing. From there I learned about the field, hired a coach and began taking classes to get certified. All from a simple curiosity.

Second on the list of empowerment that drives limited knowledge is a lack of understanding when it comes to failure. There is a reason they say "Hindsight is 20/20." How many choices would you have run screaming in the other direction from if you'd only known what the outcome would be? With limited knowledge before the leap of starting a business, getting into a relationship, taking a trip, accepting a don't know failure. You have the highest expectations. While they don't always work out, you always learn a valuable lesson from the failures. In which case, they weren't failures at all. Many times you realize just what you're made of. They make you stronger and as a result, you have again increased your knowledge. When they do work out, it is often not in the way you expected. With that knowledge ahead of time, you may have limited your perception of your ability. Again, you've found out what you're made of.

I started off this post with these words and I'll end it that way, too:

There is a kind of knowledge that can make you mindless.
There is a kind of intelligence that will leave you empowered.

Don't limit yourself with knowledge today, let your heart have a say as well,
Coach Katie

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