Bridging the Knowledge/Wisdom Gap

art of encore living personal development Aug 22, 2022

During my 4 years as a head coach at Seth Godin's Akimbo Workshops, I was consistently asked the same question by students a workshop was winding to a close.

"Which workshop should I take next?"

My consistent answer was, "Are you sure you need another workshop?"

Students were often taken aback by my reply and sometimes even offended.

Don't get me wrong, I believe in the workshop. I witnessed the transformation students who participated fully experienced.

But here's the thing, learning that does not lead to action is useless.

To take this a step further, learning leads to knowledge, but wisdom is gained through experience (applied knowledge).

Learning by itself may be interesting, fun, and even valuable. But the kind of change aspiring and advancing difference-makers want to make only happen by acquiring the wisdom from doing the work (not merely learning, thinking, or talking about the work).

In fact, knowledge acquisition (learning, thinking, and talking about the work) is often just a seductive way of avoiding or hiding from doing the work.

When you learn something worthwhile (AKA acquire knowledge), you actually need to fully embody, engage, and execute that learning into your daily routines and relationships (AKA, gain wisdom).

Simply learning something else only widens the gap between knowledge and wisdom and, more to the point, widens the gap between thinking about making a difference and actually making a difference.

And, of course, applying knowledge leads to wisdom more effectively and efficiently when you do it in community with fellow travelers and a trusted guide.

What's your real next best step? Do you need more knowledge, or would you be better served by applying the knowledge you already possess and turning it into wisdom?


Scott Perry, Encore Life Coach at The Art of Encore Living

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