They say that 'knowledge is power' and while this is technically meant more metaphorically than literally it is nevertheless true in a very direct way.
There's a film called 'Three Days of the Condor', and in it a man hired by the CIA is tasked with reading as many books as possible of all genres in order to search them for hidden codes and messages that could be relayed by spies within the country. Of course the main purpose of this task is for him to find evidence of enemies communicating state secrets, but there is a side effect from reading so much – he becomes incredibly knowledgeable.
This surplus of knowledge gives him the ability to work out that members of the CIA are in fact trying to kill him. Fortunately his new skills include tapping phones, running evasive patterns when being fired at, performing forensic science and picking locks. It's a fictional story of course, but it nevertheless illustrates just how it is possible to become almost a superhero through knowledge alone.
Here we will look at why knowledge is so powerful and at how you can go about using it in order to become a better version of yourself.
Be the Best at What You Do
The first kind of knowledge you should seek to accumulate is knowledge that relates to your lifestyle and to what you do. A mechanic for instance should make it their business to learn absolutely everything they can about vehicles and about mechanical engineering. This way they will then be able to repair cars better than anyone else and they will be likely to get the most business and the best business.
True greatness and innovation in a field is said to come about in two ways. One way is by being a complete novice in your field – which means that your ideas and your concepts are completely original and unhindered by thought that has gone before you. The other way is by being a complete expert and by knowing absolutely everything there is to know on a subject. This then in theory means that you are able to weigh up all of the information you have evenly and to come up with the best solution bearing that in mind. Having no knowledge on a subject greatly limits what you are capable of achieving and has other problems – for instance you can unwittingly plagiarize if you aren't aware of what's come before you. Thus to be a true innovator – to improve the world around you and to go down in history – you need knowledge.
For Social Reasons
Being knowledgeable will stand you in great stead in social situations and it has a lot of social situations and it is a sure way to win respect and followers. Being knowledgeable is first and foremost highly important for leaders, and often leadership will default to the person who is most knowledgeable on a subject – because they are most able to provide the best advice and the best recommendations. For instance if you image you are lost in the woods, then it will be the person who has the survival training who will likely take charge and that everyone will defer to.
At the same time a lack of knowledge can be highly embarrassing if you are caught out. For instance if everyone is talking about something that's happening in the news, or if everyone is discussing a historical event; and in either situation you don't know what they are talking about and are unable to contribute, then this will often make you feel out of the loop or even unintelligent and you will be branded ignorant. On the other hand having something interesting and insightful to bring to everyone conversation will make you seem attractive, intelligent and well read. In an interview situation this will make you more likely to get the job, while in a dating situation this is a good way to impress a potential partner – knowledge and intelligence are very attractive traits.
To Adapt to Situations
If you have a lot of knowledge then you will be able to adapt to any situation and will never be caught unaware. Locked out of your home? Then the ability to pick locks could come in handy. Car won't start? Then if you can jump start it yourself you will be laughing. No software for what you need to do? Well then why not program your own. Someone choking? Then hopefully you know the Heimlich maneuver. The more knowledge you have the more likely you are to be able to adapt to the situation and to help yourself and others. It will save you time, bring you satisfaction and ensure that others are impressed.
Ultimately knowledge is information that tells you how to manipulate the world around you. Even something seemingly 'useless' such as historical knowledge has very useable benefit (knowing the past helps you to navigate the present and future). In short, the more you know, the better you will be able to manipulate your surroundings and the more you will be free from usual restraints. Knowledge then really is power.