Can Knowledge Hurt You?

A little knowledge can't hurt, right? It can only help...or can it?

I was driving along the other day, listening to some country music, and these words hit me: "Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then."

You may recognize these words, and maybe even the song...but I had never noticed them before...and it hit me with some meaning related to our topic of "Can knowledge hurt you?"

Sometimes people can be afraid to move ahead...simply because they cannot picture themselves in a higher role...with more responsibility...

Could that be you? What are the limits of your thinking?

Now here's some limited thinking for you: "Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then." How motivated is such a person to move forward, learn knew things, explore new ideas, move in new directions, break "out of the box"?

People tend to get comfortable with what the know...and in the process come to fear what the don't know. And the longer the stay in that mode of thinking, the harder it gets.

Now the meaning of "Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then." was probably referring to some lost love or some kind of a blindsiding event. I am stretching whatever that meaning was intended to make m point. And the point is, that no matter what, the person is left with regret, fear of knowledge, and lack of hope.

So what about thinking like this: "I'm so glad I know now what I didn't know then." Now that's forward thinking and optimistic! That's an attitude that could produce some real hunger...for knowledge!

We are in a knowledge economy today...

...and knowledge is power.

But knowledge also is fleeting. Today's knowledge will become outdated at some point - probably sooner rather than later!

But the wisdom we gain through experience will last...

But more, different, and fresher knowledge will always be required and valued. We can no longer afford to "rest on the laurels" of past achievements. We cannot lean on past knowledge, at least not at the expense of new knowledge!

This idea of refreshing your knowledge on a regular basis applies directly to certifications. It takes a lot of work to earn a certification...and it takes the kind of hunger and optimism in the attitude of "I'm so glad I know now what I didn't know then."

ou need to constantly be thinking of the next thing...like now I have a Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) certification, so what next? I now have the Project Management Professional (PMP), so what next? I now have a couple of certifications, what next?

Hunger for knowledge - and enjoyment of learning - are the keys. I might also add one more thing: the ease of acquiring that knowledge. Sincere it takes time and effort to acquire new knowledge, you need to find ways to spend the least in resources - time, money, energy - to get that knowledge. Spending to much of your precious resources can become a barrier to the knowledge that you hunger for and need.

So...I hope I've made my point...that knowledge cannot hurt you, it really can only help you, and that you need to be constantly hungry for more. Therefore, don't adopt an attitude of "Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.", but rather adopt one of "I'm so glad I know now what I didn't know then." With that new hunger for knowledge, think about what knowledge could next benefit you the most...and try to find ways to spend the least in resources - time, money, and energy - to get that knowledge.

If you do that, you'll find your knowledge and value expanding at a pace that keeps you ahead of the crowd!