The brilliant Dr. Stephen Hawking said:
“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.”
One person commented that—in their opinion—the two are the same. My friend, Alice Flanders, explained the difference:
“One person is ignorant, they do not know. the other person thinks they know, but they don’t know either. The person who is ignorant might decide that he needs to know and find out. The person who thinks he knows, but doesn’t, will act on the knowledge that he thinks he has instead of finding out the correct answer.”
I loved how Alice explained that.
In my opinion, it comes down to—as do so many things—our belief system; the lens through which we view our world.
If we already believe we know a “thing” and are not interested in exploring an alternative view, then we might be right—or we might not be.
That can be a problem in terms of living up to our full potential and effectiveness.
Or, as the amazing thinker and wordsmith Mark Twain said:
“It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”
The older I get, the more I continue to be amazed by how much I think I know that just ain’t so.
What about you? Do you find the same to be true for you? And, if so, do you find that to be scary? Encouraging? Perhaps, a little of both?
This article was originally published by Bob Burg
Published: January 16, 2014