Do you know the difference between knowledge and wisdom?
Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens.
– Jimi Hendrix
Who Was Jimi Hendrix?
Jimi Hendrix was an American rock guitarist, singer and songwriter. His career was cut short to only 4 years, but he is considered one of the most influential electric guitarists in history.
The Difference Between Knowledge and Wisdom
A lot of people like this quote either because it’s credited to Jimi Hendrix or because it sounds really deep.
But what does it mean?
To be honest, I struggled with it a little bit and almost dismissed it for this post.
What is Knowledge?
Knowledge is trivia, information, data to fill the pages of an encyclopedia (or Wikipedia if you prefer).
It is completely useless by itself. I wrote a blog post a while back about shelf-help books (yes, “shelf.” That was not a typo). They are those self-help books that sit on your shelf and you never read, full of useless knowledge and ideas until you read them.
In today’s quote of the day, Jimi Hendrix says that “knowledge speaks.” He’s right. People love to share with you what they heard. They share what they heard on the news, they watched on TV last night, and what they had for breakfast this morning.
Just check out Facebook and Twitter. It’s all there.
What is Wisdom
Wisdom is harder to define. For me, it’s the experience you gain from the application of knowledge, either your own experience or the experience of others.
People don’t run around sharing wisdom as much. It takes a lot more effort to share than knowledge, so those who have it hold onto it until they find the right person to share it with.
You’ve heard the phrase “when the student is ready, the teacher will appear,” right? Wisdom is the teacher and they are looking for that student. Not everyone is ready to be that student.
So wisdom listens and takes action. That’s how wisdom grows. It listens to the experience of others, thereby adding to its own experience. Then it takes action on what it learns and build its own practical experience, making it real.
Patience is the companion of wisdom.
– St. Augustine
Just like you want to change for focus from knowledge to wisdom, you can also change your thoughts.