Is Knowledge Power? Think Again

What do you say, is knowledge really power? If it is so, then why even in countries that have such impressive literacy rate, the wealth distribution data is so lop sided. Half of the Global wealth is shared by just around 1% of the richest people. How can knowledge then be termed as power? In my understanding, a literate person acquires knowledge and therefore power.

Let’s examine the concept of knowledge a bit deeper. After all what is knowledge? Is it something that we learn and acquire in the school or college? Is it something that our seniors gift us or this comes through experience? I am confused.

My confusion got cleared when I reached chapter 5 of Napoleon Hills book “Think and Grow Rich”, he explains that there are two types of knowledge; first, is a general or generic knowledge and the second one that is specialized knowledge. General knowledge is that we acquire may be of any type, quality or in any amount, it is of little use in generating money or wealth. It is ironic that even the greatest learning centers, universities and schools impart general knowledge to the students and are responsible for producing a massive mediocrity. A shining example of this would be the professors and lecturers who teach are themselves from middle income group. While they become expert in teaching, they are not experts in making money.

To understand what type of knowledge will or might be required to attract money, I will quote directly from his book, Think and Grow Rich, chapter 5. Napoleon Hill says:

Quote – “KNOWLEDGE will not attract money, unless it is organized, and intelligently directed, through practical PLANS OF ACTION, to the DEFINITE END of accumulation of money. Lack of understanding of this fact has been the source of confusion to millions of people who falsely believe that “knowledge is power.” It is nothing of the sort! Knowledge is only potential power. It becomes power only when, and if, it is organized into definite plans of action, and directed to a definite end.”– Unquote.

So here is the big catch that we all seem to miss out. We simple confuse between “Potential Power” and “absolute Power”. Knowledge will become power only if it is,-


Logically directed towards achievement of a set goal,

Has a workable and practical action plan, and,

Directed towards a definite end.

Hill explains the reason for massive failure of our education system in this respect. According to him there is an important missing link that prevents our system in producing massive count of highly successful and wealthy individuals. To quote him:

Quote-  “This “missing link” in all systems of education known to civilization today, may be found in the failure of educational institutions to teach their students HOW TO ORGANIZE AND USE KNOWLEDGE AFTER THEY ACQUIRE IT.” – Unquote.

It is therefore extremely important that before you start your success journey, you need to acquire specialized knowledge about your product, its strengths and weaknesses, its marketing, about the people who will buy that and how are you going to manage after sales service in an efficient and satisfactory manner. This opens another challenge. How to acquire this whole bundle of knowledge and keep it updated at all times. We all know that in today’s technological age, knowledge becomes obsolete faster than its acquisition.

Hill in his book has explained it beautifully. His explanations about the concept of entrepreneurship with diverse business verticals under one roof is quite revealing. While we all do this daily in our life, we never see it in this light. Napoleon Hill says that:

Quote – “Any man is educated who knows where to get knowledge when he needs it, and how to organize that knowledge into definite plans of action. Through the assistance of his “Master Mind” group, Henry Ford had at his command all the specialized knowledge he needed to enable him to become one of the wealthiest men in America. It was not essential that he have this knowledge in his own mind”-Unquote

This explains why big multinationals with multiple and diversified business interests have on top what we term as the “Think Tank” or a “Master Mind”, group of people who are experts in their own area of knowledge. This also explains the concept of diversification. I have worked in a business house who have interests which are as diversified as power, heavy engineering construction, hospitality, cement, travel and tour, education and health care. All managed by a single entrepreneur.

I personally feel that more than acquiring all the knowledge yourself, more important is your ability to keep all such knowledge around you so that it is available to you with the press of a button, instantaneously and always updated. A person who has the ability to manage, channel and utilize knowledge for wealth creation holds the key to power. Yes knowledge is power in that sense.

In today’s world of technology, one area of knowledge that can be a great source of power is the profitable and effective use of internet. One can lean and acquire specialized knowledge on Internet Marketing, Network Marketing or Affiliate Marketing. All these areas have phenomenal scope to earn and be your own boss, a powerful boss, an entrepreneur.

Watch the full chapter 5 from “Think and Grow Rich

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