How To Acquire Knowledge: Advice From Socrates

How To Acquire Knowledge: Advice From Socrates

Here is the complete transcript of the podcast

On the podcast today we are talking about how to acquire knowledge. So if you are a knowledge seeker, then today’s podcast episode is for you to stay with me. Growing up, I think age 1314 1516, the teen early teenage years. At that time, when I used to meet people who were amazing with their knowledge with their presentations with their speaking, I used to get curious, I used to go home and asked my dad, how can I speak like them? How can I come across, as if I have the knowledge that they’re coming across as if they have the knowledge? And my father, you should tell me you got to read. And that’s how I started reading. Even though I do not read as much, or I did not read as much then the amount kids today, teenagers today read a lot. So I was not good. But then the message I got back then was to read. And today, I give the same advice on this podcast, if you want quiet knowledge you got to read. But is it true that if you read a lot, you will acquire knowledge? I don’t know. There’s some truth to it. Of course, how can you become knowledgeable without reading?

So the information is a necessity for knowledge to happen. Clearly, that connection is already there. But knowledge comes from different sources. Sometimes people listen and learn, they don’t need to read sometimes people see the watch. And from there they pick up knowledge. Sometimes people socialize they talk to a lot of people and from there they acquire knowledge. And obviously, by reading people acquire knowledge, but all this is inflammation, listening, watching, socializing, and reading all this information, but there has to be something that should convert this information into knowledge and what is it that is you as an individual, your desire to turn that information into knowledge. There is a word that does it. It is called contextualizing context, applying context to information. When you apply context information, it becomes knowledge. How do you apply context? Context is when you take information, and you put that information to use, that means you apply that information. That means you take whatever that is, and you do something with it. So that you get an outcome. When you have an outcome, you have successfully contextualized that information, and you keep on doing that over and over again, for a long amount of time. Maybe it will turn into knowledge. It’s rare. for that not to happen. If you keep on doing it for a long amount of time, it will become knowledge.

The question is, I also have gotten this question, which I have been reading a lot. I go to seminars, and workshops, I study, why is it that I feel that I don’t have the knowledge? You could do all of the above. You listen to great conversations, you study, you watch, you read, you can do all of that, but still stay uninformed. That’s not a good position to be in. Now, many, many years ago, I had one very simple gentleman walk up to me at my seminar and asked me this question. He said, When did you realize that it is time to share your knowledge? And you know what my answer to him was? I said You think I have the knowledge to share with you? This was like at the end of a two-day workshop. And he was perplexed and he was surprised by my answer. I don’t think I have the knowledge to share with you. I don’t think I ever prepared myself. That one day I’m going to do a seminar or a workshop and I’ll share it with people whatever I know I’ll share with people I don’t think I ever did and I honestly if you if I go back to To my teenage years, late teen years, the early 20s, I never thought I would do that which I’m doing today. Never thought it was amazing how life has taken different twists and turns and taken me along the part that was completely unknown to me. And here I am doing what I’m doing. So my answer to that gentleman was, I don’t think I was ever ready to do a seminar or a workshop, I don’t think I thought that I had the knowledge. Things just happened.

So today, when I look, I’m gonna rewind all the people whom I met, who at that point in time appeared as if they were known to me, and they inspired me. I guarantee today, you know, the renewed understanding with this new understanding that I have, I don’t think they even knew what they were doing. Back then. Date, I don’t think they came across as if they had the odd they ever thought they had the knowledge they were sharing. They were just doing what life was expected of them. And I said that today because that’s exactly what I’m doing. I’m doing that what is life expecting of me? That’s all. I don’t think I have any knowledge. And I told this gentleman, I said, my job is not to teach anything. And I don’t think your job is to learn anything at the seminar. All I’m doing is sharing what I know, hoping that somebody finds something in it. And your job is not to learn anything. Through my sharing, your job is to unlearn a few things. If you want to. If not, it’s okay. If not, it’s okay. So, I’ll get into this in a later podcast. But let’s go back to this question of how to turn information into knowledge. You turn information into knowledge by applying context. But then, once you feel that you have succeeded. And once that means you now know how to do something because you have acquired knowledge to do. the question now becomes says, How do you turn this knowledge into wisdom? That’s a higher-level question. Because everybody wants to have wisdom. Again, context comes in. But the context is different. In the second case, the first case you’re applying for a specific outcome. But in the second case, you’re applying context for a wider outcome. So I took the information and applied to get an outcome. And that’s how I built my knowledge. And with the newfound knowledge, I apply context again, so that this new form of knowledge can turn into wisdom, and how do we do that? See, when I was going around as a kid, and trying to figure out how I can become knowledgeable, I was thinking about myself as a little selfish. That’s the ask is a selfish ask.

But now, once I started doing that, over the years, at some point, the shift was how can I do it for others? What can I do for others, now that I know what I know? Now, when you take the world, you take different people, different belief systems, and different theologies. Now suddenly, you are not important anymore. different people, different belief systems, different values, different theologies, and different understandings. So you now are thinking about others at a larger scale, the same information now contextualized, to a larger, broader audience, and you keep on doing it over and over and over again. Now you’re acquiring wisdom.

I hope I’m able to express this, but there is a lot to this. So clearly, there is no shortcut. It takes a lifetime to acquire that wisdom, that knowledge, and sometimes a lifetime to acquire the basic information. The funny part is once you acquire the information, and you apply, contextualize that you gain the knowledge then again, you contextualize that knowledge at a larger scale. You gain the wisdom. But that only happens in one track. So doctors become doctors, and engineers become engineers. You know, whoever you want to become, you become, and you acquire the wisdom within that space, but then there is a whole different area altogether that is left out.

So, it’s once you take track once you set yourself up on a specific path, and that path becomes your reality. It’s very hard to acquire knowledge and wisdom in all aspects of life impossible doesn’t happen. That’s why Leonardo da Vinci is regarded as a complete individual who acquired knowledge in all disciplines. We haven’t seen anybody at that level ever since. As I wrap up the podcast episode today, I want to share a story with you that I think I have shared it multiple times on this podcast in earlier episodes. So the story goes like this, a devoted student goes up to Socrates and says, I want to acquire knowledge, what should I do? Socrates pushes this disciple into the river. And he himself jumps into the river. And he holds the student’s head underwater, and with pressure, the student struggles and wants to come out of the water, but Socrates keeps his head underwater.

Now the student struggles and he starts to fight, he starts to claw. And after a lot of struggle, he comes out of the water. Socrates then asks the student a question, when you were drowning, what was happening? What was going on in your head? The student says I was wanting air. Socrates closes it out. Socrates says, when you want knowledge, as much as you want it air, then you will get it. So if you are reading, listening, watching socializing, you’re doing all of the bows. You are going to different institutions, you’re following different authorities. You are tenacious, and you are doing everything you can, but somehow knowledge is not happening.

The question you have to ask is, are you seeking knowledge at the same level that you’re seeking oxygen? Okay, I’m gonna stop here to you have a wonderful hump day, and I’ll be with you as early as tomorrow. Even before you know it, I’ll be with you. Hey, that’s all for now. You take care of yourself and keep listening. Bye now.

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