The Limitations of Knowledge

by Jermaine

I Brain with electric signalsNot Only Use All The Brains That I Have,  but all that I can borrow.

Woodrow Wilson

I want to take the time in this session to talk about the significance of having knowledge and how knowledge can assist -or- distract you. Here are the details.

For lack of a better term, knowledge is a tool. A powerful tool, but a tool none the less. Knowledge cannot, in an of itself, cause you to be great, rich, or free. Knowledge, at best, will give one the insight to do, be, and act with more precision and stability thus, enabling some of the aforementioned positive conclusions (freedom, riches, etc). Once you get to the point where every move becomes a calculated step you’ve grown into a rational being. Weighing your choices against personal experiences and the experiences of others is a good habit that helps one tap into the full power of reason. I admit that early on in my life I took the ability to reason for granted. I made a lot of impulse decisions. Now years of trying to undo some of the mistakes and errors I’ve made has revealed the value in reasoning BEFORE doing.

Most individuals live according to sense rather than reason. They sense something and just feel compelled to follow their gut. It’s as ancient as time itself. Knowledge and reason work against this phenomenon. The more you know, the less of a risk you are making when you branch out with the intent of dreaming. By studying a field, a life transition, or getting career training your eyes can become open to things it would be impossible to perceive alone. I said it before and I’ll say it again,

“You don’t have to reinvent the wheel!”

You don’t have to break the mode to step into your dream. You can use techniques and skills that others have spent the entirety of their lives finding out. We all stand on the shoulders of giants already just to be who we currently are. Any additional heights we achieve are just baby-steps from what the many generations that have existed before us and along side us have already taken.

Being knowledgeable is not the same as being smart/intelligent. 

There are tons of intelligent people who file for bankruptcy everyday of the week. Even more that can’t figure out how to tend to their personal emotional needs while reaching for a purposeful life. And even more that haven’t figured out how to do all of that (manage finances, personal emotions, and goals) while tending to the needs of their loved ones around them. It is a difficult task to step out of our bad “flow” and grow.

It takes more than just common sense to achieve the type of wholeness that I’m in pursuit of. I promise you that it will take some help. I haven’t met the parent yet that has totally given their child all of the tools that they need to conquer the world by 16. And even the ones that try run the risk of having a child that doesn’t take the time to listen. The biggest difference that you’ll find between smarts and knowledgeable people is that the smart people have the capacity to learn if taught. They also have the ability to figure things out if given the time. They can grasp concepts and respond according. A noble trait but not a preventative. JUST being smart alone as you attempt to dream-your-dreams-to-life puts you in a reactive position instead of a proactive one. You don’t want to spent hours, days, or years learning from mistakes that others have already made a million times over.

Why do so when you don’t have to? 

This is where knowledge comes in handy. Even if you are the non-traditional learner, take the time to learn about a life transition or dream pursuit before you launch out into it. At the very least, read a book or two. You can even try getting a mentor in the area. Ask others that are on the same career path or join a society or professional organization that promotes your calling (poetry, journalism, painting, law, entrepreneurship). This can allow you to get access to a ton of information in a short period of time. If it is a personal change you believe will unlock your dream, ask someone who has been through the same transition.

“We overcome by… the power of our testimonies.”

Another set of eyes and a head full of experience will many times impart knowledge that books or classes can’t buy! This is how you become proactive instead of just reactive about your future pursuits. This is how you steer clear of huge oversights that could delay or destroy your dream before it materializes. You need this rational method of approach. “Dreaming” with full knowledge of an area, field, or life transition is hard enough. To do so by sheer will and/or emotion is nearly impossible unless it is an empty dream. 

By the same token, don’t get too much knowledge for your own good.

The power of the outside experience and input is to strengthen your wherewithal. If one gets into statistics, possibility of failure, and unlikeliness of success this can spell doom. Don’t let negative facts scare you into submission. For example, it is true that many small business fail every year, especially ones that are minority owned. Yet, the number of successful businesses that are birthed every year continues to increase across a broad spectrum of industries. One can’t allow fear and general knowledge to restrict and inhibit goal setting and dreaming. Look at this knowledge as a firm challenge! 


If you are sincerely willing to give your all to whatever your dream may be and you study to evade all of the potential potholes, then you’ve done your part for preparation. If the inner-you won’t give up or bow down to the pressures of failure but instead continues to lead you out into these challenges you owe it to yourself to try.

After you’ve counted the cost and put in the preliminary study then work like crazy with every fiber of your being and let the chips fall where they may. What will be, will be eventually. If you’ve studied all there is to know and you’ve listened to the core of who you are and you still fall short. Take a deep breath, smile, and remember that when you’re maturely pursuing a dream…