A Little Knowledge …

Information, Knowledge, Wisdom without source.png

INFORMATION: The raw data that flows into our lives through books, newsletters, papers, interviews, discussions, podcasts, videocasts, seminars, webinars, workshops, conferences, white papers, websites, wikis and so on.

KNOWLEDGE: What results when we organize and reflect on that raw information to create our individual concepts, perceptions, and theories about it all.

WISDOM; Knowing BEYOND the information and the knowledge. It is knowing what questions to ask, how to ask them, and how to handle the answers.

Any questions?

Trying to keep it simple and stick to the basics in the Heartland ….



Image:  Robert Lewis Reid (1862-1929).  Photographed 2007 by Carol Highsmith (1946-), who explicitly placed the h=photograph in the public domain.  Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Divsion, LC-DIG-highsm-002214 (oringal digital file), uncompressed archiavl TIFF version (108 MB), cropped and conversted to JPEG with the GIMP 2.2.13, image quality 88, Public Domain, https//commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4641250


Debunking Some Old Saws …

Spanking - Germany 1935 WikipediaFeeling a little like playing the “Devil’s Advocate” today with some old wisdom learned at my parent’s feet … or on occasion, across their lap.

Never Bite Off More Than You Can Chew …

The positive message here is that we need be careful about what we commit to and not over-extend ourselves.  Wise counsel in this modern age.

However, this advice is also predicated on the assumption that if you take on more than you have been able to do in the past or think you can handle, you will fail.   This seems to conflict with the idea of stretch goals, where we do exactly that by taking on tasks or responsibilities beyond our current capabilities.

The saying runs contrary to at least some of my life experiences and I suspect others will agree … we truly do not know what we are capable of doing until we try.

Don’t Look A Gift Horse In The Mouth …

I am not looking ANY horse in the mouth … been there, done that, almost lost a finger or two:).

That said, the message from this horse’s mouth is that when you receive something without having to pay for it, that gratitude is the proper response, rather than criticism of any less-than-perfect aspects of that gift.

This applies beautifully to all those who continue to post their personal declarations of privacy on social media sites like Facebook, which includes some of my oldest and dearest friends.  When one is using a public website without charge, one cannot arrange the rules to suit themselves.  I prefer the meme:  “If it should not be public, do not share it.”

But let me pose this question:  Do we abandon all responsibility when something is a gift?  

While I can assume that the cake my sainted mother lovingly baked for my birthday is not poisonous, I would be remiss if I ignored or discounted any obvious signs to the contrary.   When you give your children a new bicycle, you would be upset if they did not let know you immediately of an unsafe condition connected to that new bike, such as faulty brakes or loose handlebars.

Hmmm …

Measure Twice, Cut Once …

I bet this inclusion surprises some of you, since it seems so useful.  I have often experienced the negative outcomes of rework, lost time, wasted materials, and so on, when ignoring this piece of advice.   Maybe you have too.

At first glance, making sure you are doing something right to the right length, in the right measure would seem a wisdom slam-dunk … and it often is.

However, I wonder two things:

First, How well does this apply to our modern and fast-paced world?

Things change so quickly and so often that we assume some lack of accuracy with first reports and early launches.  

Think software, where for decades, we have happily accepted Beta versions of programs that run our lives, expecting bugs and defects to show up and be fixed with a continual stream of updates. 

Second, consider the idea of “Good Enough“, which is meant to spur action, as opposed to a long series of actions to create the perfect scenario, product, service, or statement.  

For us perfectionists, this is not comfortable, but from a competitive business viewpoint, it makes good sense.

If you have ever been burned by someone beating you to the punch, while you perfect your own … well, think about it.

Thanks for letting me share these observations.  Now you know where my mid-week head is at.  

What are your reactions to my observations?  

Would you share your own “debunking” of old wisdom?

Hoping to experience some real fine rants in the Heartland ….


Four Questions About Learning …

image“The wisest mind has something yet to learn.”

George Santayana


No argument here … I find that every day brings new learning.  Given the pace of change we currently enjoy, that’s little surprise.

It approaches trivial to repeat the much –stated idea that the more we know, the more we know we do not know.  I know for sure that I know much less of the world than I thought I did a few years ago.  Curse you, Google searchSmile.


The questions to ponder with regard to continual learn is this:

How are you identifying what you need to learn?

How are you planning to learn?

What resources will you use to learn?

How will you know when you have learned it?

If your answer to any of the above is “I dunno”, then you have some work to do.

Getting busy on my own personal learning plans in the Heartland …



Getting It Not Done …

Half-eaten doughnut

“Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone.  The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.”

Lin Yutang

So is the non-essential thing to eliminate the piece of the doughnut not already eaten or the whole doughnut?

Just trying to make you snack before you go to bed in the Heartland ….


Should I Watch or Should I Warn . . . ?

“The wise man smiles with approval as he watches other people committing the sins and follies he himself had to commit in order to become wise.”  Anonymous

Okay, this one is interesting . . .

I don’t remember the first time I noticed my father smiling as I committed yet another adolescent sin.  I do know that it irritated the bejeebers out of me, once I was aware.  I’m not sure whether I was more upset by his sense of superior knowledge (“I know something you don’t“) or by his callousness (“I could prevent it, but I’m going to let you get hurt now.”


I absolutely agree that we need to let people experience consequences.  When someone’s actions result in an outcome which is embarrassing, awkward, or expensive, their emotions engage.   When emotions engage, we hardwire more information into our brains and we will remember that lesson. Continue reading