Why Knowledge is NOT Power
Many believe knowledge is power. But that's only part of the story. We must take action to make knowledge powerful. That's where coaching comes in.
There’s a common cultural euphemism that we share with one another frequently without giving it a second of critical assessment.
“Knowledge is power”.
What that implies is that if you only had the correct knowledge, in the correct area you would be able to make a powerful impact in the world. That could bring success, freedom, health and well-being or peace. The message is clear; continue to gain knowledge and you will certainly be successful.
You see knowledge is ONLY powerful when it is transferred to habitual behavioral change.
Here’s an example. We all know that eating a bag of M&M’s is not great for our health, but we do it anyways. Why is it that if we have the knowledge of that, we still take actions we know to be unhealthy?
The human body’s natural addiction to sugar as a survival mechanism aside, it is because we do not regularly transfer that knowledge into action. You say it, know it and understand it conceptually, yet are still overcome with the momentary act of going against that knowledge.
So what do we do about this? Insert another common euphemism:
“Walk your talk”.
This one is tough. Knowledge transfer is the first step. But it only becomes powerful when after proper practice you take on a behavioral adoption of that knowledge. You walk your talk, and you do it so frequently that it feels like it has become second nature. And that’s because it has become second nature. It literally becomes a programmed activity that takes less energy. After a fundamental shift and the resulting change is when knowledge truly becomes powerful.
I’ve spent a lot of time reading self-help books on everything from managing yourself, to high performing habits, to shifting your consciousness and thinking to how to live a radically free life.
Each of these books holds within them pieces of knowledge that are deeply valuable to me, but they have collectively help creat less than 5% of the change I have seen in my life and business over the past 5 years.
The other 95% of that change has come from working with mentors and coaches for extended periods of time. Coaching creates a powerful arena for you to transfer knowledge into power. It provides you a space to think about your thinking. It provides regular, effective and guided testing of your knowledge, until that knowledge becomes a natural skill.
Maybe you have a similar story with self-help books. Or weight loss and exercise routines. Or nightly journaling. And you keep doing it, hoping for that change the book promises. Just keep developing that knowledge and one day it will all fall into place. Hoping for change is not a strategy that reaps long-term rewards.
Albert Einstein has a great quote to sum this phenomenon up: “No problem was ever solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”
What Einstein knew was that knowledge only truly becomes power when it creates internal shifts resulting in lasting behavior change. What he forgot to add was that you don’t have to go at it alone. According to the ICF, when you combine weekly coaching with training or feedback to create positive behavioral change productivity is boosted by 88%.
If you are ready to accelerate your rate of progress, get serious about accomplishing your goals and turn your knowledge into power, let’s talk!