Don’t be a Know-it-all
- There is too much out there in the world today to try to become an expert on everything.
- In the medical field, we are seeing a lot more doctors who specialize in an area because the medical field changes so drastically so quickly, that it’s hard for a doctor to know everything.
- It’s important to know that while you shouldn’t try to learn everything, you should be aware that there are many places you can go and specialists you can consult that can help you with whatever situation you may have.
Stephen Hawking, who passed away this year, once said, “The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.” I like this quote a lot because it’s something I realized about 30 years ago when I was trying to learn a lot of different things and there was just way too much for me to understand.
I decided I should just be aware of my ability to obtain knowledge in any particular area, not to actually try to obtain it all!
What I’ve really found out is that I don’t know anything. Well, at least very little.
But that’s a good thing, because then I’m not out there trying to practice in an area I know nothing about, or that I don’t have the skills to do.
Take the medical profession, for example. The latest statistic I read said the knowledge base doubles every five years, and it’s probably even faster than that right now. So, if you are a doctor and you graduated from medical school 10 or 15 years ago, 80-90% of what you learned back then has all changed. So, we see a lot of specialized doctors now in the medical profession. There’s so much proliferation of knowledge, they just can’t know it all.
It’s making sure you don’t practice in an area you aren’t familiar with, but also knowing there are plenty of places to go and specialists you can consult to find the information you need.
This mindset helps when you are retired. I know a lot of people who are retired who attend different venues for speeches on all kinds of subjects, so they can be aware of what’s going on in the world, what’s happening in technology, what the future is going to look like, what’s new in healthcare, and so on. They just want to be aware of what’s going on, and then they seek out a specialist if they want to delve in to anything specific.
So, as you go through life, look for those folks who are specializing in those deep, narrow areas that can help you with what you are trying to address in your situation. Don’t try to go out there and become an expert on it. There’s just too much to know, and most likely, whatever you try to learn will have already changed by the time you try to learn it.
Until next time, enjoy.
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Gary Klaben is in our Glenview, IL office and serves our clients who are now located all over the country. He has over 30 years of experience and is the author of Changing the Conversation, Wealth of Everything and co-author of The Business Battlefield. Whether advising his clients, mentoring his team, or coaching entrepreneurs, he is always simplifying complexity and motivating others to take the next action that’s right for them.
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