“Imagination is more important than knowledge.”~Albert Einstein
Many of us may not give this quote a second look. Some have actually laughed at it. However, when they recognize Einstein said it, at the very least it gives them pause. However, sadly, most of us really don’t take the time to truly understand its significance.
Consider for a minute: If mankind worked only from what we know today, how could society progress?
For the purposes of ingraining Einstein’s message further, draw your own time-line on a sheet of paper. Now, mark the middle of it with a small vertical line (as above), and to the left of this vertical line, write the words “past/knowledge”; to the right, please write “future/imagination.”
Indeed! The future lives here in our collective imaginations—on the right side of the line and, coincidentally, on the right side of our brains! This is the invisible realm. This is where everything emanates—everything, you and I included! The automobile, the television, the computer, the iPhone were all part of nothingness—non-existence—and were purposed from imagination! Before each was invented, they would have been placed on the right side of the line. Today, each of these inventions has fallen to the left side; they’ve become history and are now knowledge.
To be truly “smart” is to rely LESS on knowledge and more upon your imagination, intuition and creative faculties. Or, to put it another way, to know how to best integrate and balance the two. Or, should I say three…
Often the two, wisdom and knowledge are interchanged or confused. Knowledge is not wisdom per se but can be of course. That is, if I know a football player’s statistics or the rate at which my car burns gas – that is knowledge. However, wisdom tends to provide timeless insight. There is no shortage of wisdom. In fact if you’ve been reading this blog long enough you’ve probably come to recognize I’m a big fan. Just to give you a little flavor, here are a few;
“A man begins cutting his wisdom teeth the first time he bites off more than he can chew.” ~Herb Caen
“It I had six hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first four hours sharpening the axe.” ~Abraham Lincoln
“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” ~R.W. Emerson
And to underscore the difference between the two, consider this classic Chinese proverb, “A single conversation with a wise man is better than ten years of study.”
So there you have it. To many academics in my opinion get stuck on the consumption of knowledge and even create an identify based upon how much they know. The challenge with that is what they know in many cases is already obsolete or will be very soon! Again, don’t take this from me, take it from Einstein. IMAGINATION is MORE important than knowledge” and that my friends, is pure WISDOM.
I find the most successful people I know are constantly in the pursuit of knowledge (the right kind) and balance this with their creative faculties. I know that whenever I can find, learn or take away even just one idea I always assume that value is priceless to me. This explains the piles of books around my house!
Of course, ANY idea and insight has the ability to provide a ripple-effect throughout my life, friends and family and anyone else I might come across. Knowing this, it’s easy to understand my Amazon bills!
It’s worth sharing too, that those many lessons with all their value have been packed into “The 3 C’s of Succcess” as artfully and succinct-fully as possible. There are over 20 years of “conversation” and wisdom made available to anyone who shares a similar desire for such information. It’s my hope, of course, these thoughts and ideas will produce similar results in your life.
As Ben Franklin once proclaimed, “An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.”
All the best,