Both the French writer, historian, and philosopher Voltaire (1694-1778) and Ben Parker (Spiderman’s Uncle) declared that “with great power comes great responsibility.” It was English philosopher, statesmen, and scientist Sir Francis Bacon (1551-1626) who observed that “knowledge is power.” These are wise and profound proclamations, but it begs one to ask; what is knowledge, what type of power does it wield in my own life, and do I employ it responsibly?
Greek philosopher Plato (428-427 B.C.E.) defined knowledge as a “justified true belief. Advocates of the Law of Attraction define beliefs as “thoughts you keep thinking.” In the Marvel Universe, the Ancient One teaches Dr. Strange that “thoughts shape reality.” How you integrate facts and intuition forms the basis of your knowledge and shapes your reality.
Have you consciously thought about the things you “know” and where that knowledge came from? There are things we were told, taught, or read about that we have adopted as fact. At times we directly experience certain cause-and-effect results from which we base conclusions. Other times we deal with information that isn’t based on scientific proof, logical reason, or first-hand observation—we just instinctively feel it to be true.
Nobel Prize winning theoretical physicist Albert Einstein (1879-1955) believed that “the intellect has little to do on the road to discovery,” and that wisdom and solutions come from “a leap in consciousness, call it intuition or what you will…you don’t know how or why?”
Doing research, tracking best practices, and proceeding with educated caution is wise when building a business, yet successful entrepreneurs are often the ones who value their intangible perceptions and take action based on their intuitive feelings. Some of us think that resisting our less-then-sensible-instincts will keep us safe, but in fact we run the risk of suppressing a priceless resource and forfeiting our unseen power.
Although we all need to make room for our inner-wisdom to guide us, it isn’t advisable to go around just making bold assertions or taking impulsive actions based solely on subjective opinion or uniformed judgments. We must always consider the impact on our self and others…with profound knowledge comes great responsibility.
- How do you define knowledge?
- As a child were you more likely to believe in facts or feelings? What about now?
- What is something you thought you knew for sure, that no longer rings true?
- If you were to leave some piece of knowledge behind for friends and family, what would you want them to know?
- Think of an opinion you have about someone else (or yourself). Pretend to forget the evidence that led you to that conclusion. What observations can you draw on to come up with a different perspective and get to know them (or yourself) in a different light?
Read on for an acrostic to help you connect to your feelings, develop your instincts, and learn to trust your inner-knowing.
Know your feelings. Be conscious of your mood, responses, and attitudes.
Name your feelings. By specifying your emotions they can evolve from something that controls you, to sources of information that you can apply.
Own your feelings. When you have an idea or an instinct to act; take responsibility for choosing action or inaction.
Want your feelings. View emotions as opportunities not obstacles, even if they aren’t pleasing. Sadness, depression, and fear provide knowledge about your situation and yourself.
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