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Acquiring Specialized Knowledge
Specialized Knowledge
THERE are two kinds of knowledge. One is general, the other is specialized. General knowledge, no matter how great in quantity or variety it may be, is of but little use in the accumulation of wealth.

KNOWLEDGE will not attract riches, unless it is organized, and intelligently directed, through practical PLANS OF ACTION, to the DEFINITE END of accumulation of wealth.

In his book, Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill goes to great lengths to make the distinction between generalized knowledge and specialized knowledge; and between formal education and practical information. By citing examples of the lives of certain individuals in an offhand manner, Hill alludes to the most important thing about knowledge.

Here it is plainly spoken: Knowledge, by and of itself, has little, if any, value. You may find that shocking or, at least contrary to everything you've been taught, but it is true. Knowledge only becomes valuable in its application. You may have heard that knowledge is power. Wrong. It is applied knowledge that begets power, wealth and the advancement of humanity.

The secret is in the application, not in the knowledge itself. For years, I considered myself to be highly educated about success. I willfully ignored the evidence of my own lack of success, considering it a temporary aberration. Once, I really got that it is the application, not the possession, of knowledge that produces results, I went from average to highly successful in a matter of months.

To quote one of the wisest of teachers, Confucius: "The essence of knowledge is, having it, to apply it; not having it, to confess your ignorance." Hill does point out, in his book, Think and Grow Rich, that although universities possess perhaps all of the aggregate knowledge of humankind, professors, for the most part, although surrounded by all this knowledge and though very knowledgeable, have themselves little or no money; while many people of little formal education go on to produce great wealth and great material advancements for all humanity.

He also alludes to, but does not spell out plainly, that the very best form of specialized knowledge, that a person who desires success and wealth can obtain, is the knowledge of how to become successful.

How sad it is to teach our children to aspire to success but not teach them how to get it. We teach them that an education will bring them success and happiness, but neglect to tell them what specific education that is and further neglect to say that it is the application of the specific education that will bring success and happiness.

Hill makes great use of the story of Henry Ford proving, in the courtroom, that although he was uneducated, he was not ignorant, because, as he said it, "any time I should wish to know something specific, I can simply push a button on my desk and some person who knows the answer will come to provide it to me." These days, with the accumulation of information and training being as easy as the 'click of a mouse', there is no excuse for not being successful in any field, except that you are ignorant of the principles of success, or for some personal perversity, refuse to apply them to your life.

Lack of understanding of this fact has been the source of confusion to millions of people who falsely believe that "knowledge is power." there is nothing of that 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. Knowledge is power only when applied, acquire a specialized and applicable knowledge today.

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