The Secrets of Knowledge:
A little story.
I was about 12 years old and I was taking the leather band off of my watch. I wanted to put a twistoflex band on and I had a razor blade in my hand, and was going to cut the leather band off. My friend was watching and said "wait!" There is an easier way! Well … I did not listen, thought I knew better and sliced off the leather band. Then to my dismay, my friend pointed out that there were 'removable' pins in the two side bars. I could have saved the leather band if I had just 'listened …' I learned the hard way.
I was standing on the porch in 1986, in Florida, watching the shuttle Challenger take off. It was a clear blue, cold morning, not a cloud in the sky. However – pre-launch – a number of engineers voiced their concerns about the o-rings in the solid fuel bootsers (the two rockets on the side of the fuel tank). It had been around freezing the night before and they were worried about the seals. They wanted to postpone the launch. Unfortunately, the launch managers did not agree and the Challenger's fuel tank exploded (as I and my friends watched) killing all aboard and horrificing the world. The cause of the explosion? The o-rings … They learned the hard way.
I'm from Mississippi. When I was younger, I loved being near and on and in the ocean, and was one of the few that actually had a surfboard and rode the waves (whenever I could find them!) In the Gulf of Mexico. I dreamed of going to Hawaii and read everything I could get my hands on about the islands, and surfing and read and re-read my surfing magazines over and over again. By the time I was eighteen, I was sitting at Waimea Bay, surfboard in hand, in the Navy, with a two year hitch, yea you guessed it, in Hawaii! When I was in high school, I told everyone that I was going to college in Hawaii and I did! Everyone teases me now, 'what did you study? Surfing ..? "I just laugh … Not bad for a boy from Mississippi! I applied a key concept – know what you want and it is much easier to get.
In the Philippines off Grande Island …
I was in about 30 feet of water … snorkeling with my friends … it was late in the evening and we were chasing a lobster around a small reef, just having some fun. My friend, then tapped me on the shoulder, and lo and behold, there were four reef sharks circling, just on the edge of visibility. I recalled from my studies of the ocean, that sharks usually fed in the morning … and … the evening … and we were supper!
So … I remembered a story I had read, about divers in the same situation. We had about 100 yards to go to the beach and were in about thirty feet of water. Here's what we did. There were three of us. I told my friends to 'lock arms'. I was in the middle, and my friends locked arms on both sides of me. That way, we appeared to be a much bigger target, and the sharks could not single any one of us out.
It took about seven minutes, paddling with our fins, my two friends looking forward, and I was on by back looking backwards, and we swam into shallow water … all the time the sharks were darting in and circling all the way to fallow Water! We made a lot of noise and kicked at the sharks every time they came toward us. We finally made it … and the sharks followed us all the way into six inches of water … before they backed off! Scary stuff! I applied my knowledge from an article I had read about a group of divers who experienced the same situation.
One more … be patient!
I love photography. I had studied a principle that said focus on what you most want to do and the learn everything about it, and it will happen. I did just that. I studied everything I could on photography, got a job as a pickup driver for a film processing lab … and continued to study … wrote down all the principles and techniques that I thought were relevant and applied them to my photo work. Then I got a job at a photo shop and within six months, I got a job at a local small town newspaper as their staff photographer! Was that cool or what? I shot over 10,000 pictures that first year and continued to study what it takes to take a great picture! (But that is another subject – let me know if you are interested …). To this day, I am amazed at what I achieved in so short a time.
The key …
OK – can you guess the one key element in all of the above that made the most difference or … could have made a difference? It is of course, knowledge.
When we are born, we do not have all the answers to start with. It is the lucky child that realizes the value of knowledge, or has parents that instill the value of knowledge and lucky is the kid that 'listens!'. That child will be different. That child will grow up a little smarter than the rest, only because he or she, will realize the value of knowledge. It does not mean that they will be a straight 'A' student or be the class valedictorian, but they will have an 'edge' or an advantage that the other kids do not.
Knowledge is a funny thing …
It can heal, it can harm, it can humor, it can entertain, it can inspire and influence … and be used in a million other different ways.
Here is the key … the 'secret' if you will of the phrase 'Knowledge is Power'. Please do not be surprised by its simplicity. I have asked many people, professionals and the like what the phrase really means … and they do not even have a clue. This is it in a nutshell.
"Knowledge helps you use your resources,
More efficiently and more effectively, now, and in the future. "
… to put it another way …
"Seek understanding and all else will follow …"
… to put it another way …
What you learn today, you can use tomorrow.
… to put it another way …
There's an ez way and there's the hard way.
The ez way is to learn from the knowledge and experience of others.
The hard way is to try and figure it all out ourselves.
Pretty simple yes? The key words are 'more effectively'. That is what give you the edge. Now let's take a look at the examples Iave you in the beginning of the report to emphasize the above.
IF / THEN … or to coin a phrase from the beginning of this document … "Wait!" "There's an easier way!"
I had known about the springs in the pins on the watch I had a leather band as well!
The launch managers had listened to the engineers, the Challenger accident may have been
I had not set as my goal (a very important piece of information) to go to Hawaii, I may never have surfed Waimea Bay and Pipeline.
I had not been an avid waterman, and if I had not read the shark story, I might not be here writing this report!
I had not studied photography, I would not have been able to shoot those ten thousand shots.
Your airline pilot had not studied and practiced flying and met the proper qualifications …
Your doctor / surgeon / dentist had not studied and practiced for years …
If you knew how to be super healthy you could live a long and happy life …
If you knew how to [put your goal to be achieved here …]
I could … [put your results here …]
And so on …
A more detailed statement …
The Secret of Knowledge is very simply, that IF you appreciate it as a valuable resource and IF you seek out knowledge that can help you, in the areas of life that you have chosen, and the goals you have committed to, and IF you do It consciously, then IT will help you use all of your resources, more effectively and it will make your life more fulfilling, safer and more secure.
Wealth – the Scientific Approach:
Here's a question I'm always asked. "Will it make me rich?"
My response is a question. "What is your definition of rich?" Or better yet … "What is your definition of Wealth?" Number one … do you have a specific idea of what 'rich' and 'wealth' really mean, and number two , If yes … what knowledge do you need to accomplish that? Third – if you want to become wealthy – become an expert in that field! Study it and find out as much as you can about wealth. What is it? How is it created? What what systems are used? What are the principles and techniques? How do I apply them? Another principal at work here is this …
"If you want to conquer something, study it …"
* Want to learn to fly an airplane? Study it!
* Want to get a black belt in Karate? Study it!
* Want to be wealthy? Study it!
* Want to be able to repair your own car? Study it!
* Want to be a great jazz musician? Study it!
We all start here – some basic truths
Here is a bit of truth. These are absolutes. These are where you start from. Once you realize it, then knowledge, and how to use it, should become more important.
1.) You only have so much time before you die or you become mentally deficient.
2.) There are only about five miles of atmosphere on this planet where you can breath and live.
3.) To live well, you must live more intelligently – and that is where knowledge comes in.
4.) Knowledge makes it happen.
"Knowledge helps you use your resources,
More efficiently and more effectively, now and in the future. "
OK … all that said … How Do I apply it?
Keep reading! It will be worth it!
I am going to give you a simple information formula. And though it is simple, it is very powerful. Teach it to your family and friends and to your children. But first … a very powerful little lesson … you will love this one and it will dramatically illustrate the value, not only of knowledge, but also, of intelligence and the use of knowledge.
Part I – the lesson – How smart are you?
Here's a little lesson in the difference between knowledge and intelligence.
A teacher did the following:
The teacher said, "I can teach you the difference between knowledge and intelligence in about 30 seconds and I will give you a lesson you will not forget."
All the students kinda chuckled and said "OK … we paid $$ for thirty seconds worth of time?" And the instructor said … "no worries, once you learn the lesson, we will have plenty to talk about, for this lesson, is worth its weight in gold. Ready?"
He dropped out an apple. He told the students, "Take a good look at this apple and take a good look around this room." He held out the apple for ten seconds. He then said "close your eyes." This is the first part of the lesson.
Now here's the second part of the lesson …
He then told them to keep their eyes closed until "I tell you to open them." He then walked around the room and put the apple in a different place. And then he said, "Here's part two … now … with your eyes still closed, find the apple!"
Now if that did not get the point across, nothing will. So what is the point? (Or points in this case?)
Seeing and observing is the gathering of relevant, experiential knowledge. The knowledge and the data is a way of knowing or in this case 'seeing' the world around you. By closing your eyes, that is all but eliminated. In order to find the apple, you have to use memory, conceptual knowledge, past experience and some initiative, as well as action! – and that is 'intelligence' at work, ie using knowledge to accomplish a goal.
Your 30 seconds are up!
Now though it is simple, the lesson above, teachers two main points. The principle of knowledge, which includes facts and details about something … and intelligence. Even though they had a certain knowledge of the room and of the apple, it takes intelligence, using knowledge of the apple and the room, to find it. Simple but effective lesson … teach this one to your kids.
Use a different set of circumstances! That they can refer to like where are their tinker toys!
Part II – an information formula: HICO
HICO is a simple information formula. What is an information formula? It is a set of words that can be used as points of reference, like a compass. It gives you a 'bearing' which is a principle or technique from which to work. Here are the principles of HICO.
HICO stands for …
How does it work and how do you apply it?
You already have varying 'degrees' of the above. From a personal standpoint, you have a certain 'amount' of Health, Intelligence and Courage. And … you have objectives. So – how do you apply it? Just realize that in order to achieve anything, you must first set an objective. Then apply Health, Intelligence and Courage in your daily routine to accomplish that goal. These are you personal "tools".
From very simple tasks, to more sophisticated objectives, the principle is the same. The formula is simple but effective. You can have as objective, the increase of Health, Intelligence and Courage. That in itself, can be a very worthwhile goal with its own set of results.
You can also use HICO as a mental file cabinet. What does that mean? All aspects of your life can be categorized under one of the elements.
Health = all things related to the physical world. Exercise / nutrition / rest / your physical well being
Intelligence = all things related to the mental world work / thinking / analyzing / goal setting /
Courage = all things related to the Spiritual world. Overcoming worry and fear / learning to cope /
Geez … wish someone had shown me that one before! Now I can straighten out my head !!! [Laugh!]
You can also use HICO to create a direction in your life. What does that mean? When you set goals or objectives, (other than simple survival), it gives your life momentum, or direction and it enhances your life. Reach for something and then use HICO to accomplish it is a way to give your life direction.
These are your basic tools. As you increase your health, intelligence and courage, and use them effectively, you are more capable of achieving your goals and organizing your thinking. I hope you can use this and I hope I have raised your level of awareness a bit and made life a little bit easier to deal with. It is simple, but effective, and best of all, it works!
And there you have it. Some simple suggestions, principles and techniques! Now after reading this you are a little more …
"Armed and Ready!"
Thank you for your time!
Michael M. Hall
Author: 'Armed and Ready – the Art and Science of Using Information'
Your Opinion Counts !!
If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, please contact me! I would love to hear from you!