Look at the great achievers - in science, in technology, in sports, in anything really.
If you had to choose, what would you say? Are they "skilled" or are they "knowledgeable"?
Now, don't be smart about this - you have to choose. As I like to say: Gun to your head. Yes, I know, they might be very knowledgeable about something, but as you can already tell me - the great achiever is first and foremost skilled.
Their "coaches" or "teachers" might be knowledgeable, and probably way more than them. So how come the coaches and teachers are not great achievers?
As the saying goes... If you can't do, teach... right?
Well, wrong. I actually don't agree with this saying. It should say: If you won't do, teach. Or even better... If you can't do, learn to do.
In my life I have in fact learned from great teachers, and I admire great teachers, probably more than I admire anyone else.
But the fact remains - knowledge you get from books, videos, attending seminars, going to school or university, sitting in all kinds of lessons, offline and online - will only make you "knowledgeable", will only get you to perhaps score high on some exam.
But here is what knowledge will not do for you: it will not get you results. Results come from a totally different space - the "skill" space.
Skill is very simple to explain, much simpler than explaining knowledge.
Skill is simply: The ability to consistently produce a target outcome.
You are welcome. I came up with this definition, without checking the dictionary. I'm skilled like that :)
In that sense, knowledge itself is a kind of skill: The ability to consistently produce a recitation of facts or an explanation.
When you have knowledge, you can recite it, or explain "stuff" with it. But please, do not confuse this with any other result. You cannot make money with it, you cannot swim with it, you cannot sing with it, you cannot cook with it. For all of these, and most of what you'd consider important outcomes in your life, you need skill, not knowledge.
(This guy has a surgeon license - check out his costume. Does not look so knowledgeable in my mind...)
2 important formulas for your life
The first one is: S>K.
It means: Skill is greater than knowledge. Nuff said.
The second one is: S = V.
This means: Skill equals Value.
If you want to be valuable, here's what you do: develop skill, not more knowledge.
If you want to be valuable, develop the capacity to consistently produce a target outcome.
First - decide what that outcome is. Here are some examples:
Outcome: Able to solve quadratic equations.
Outcome: Able to make an omelette.
Outcome: Able to run 10km under 1 hour.
Outcome: Able to write 500 words every day.
Outcome: Able to repeat what your child has told you.
Then ask yourself: what needs to happen for me to consistently produce my target outcome?
It is really that simple.
And if you happen to be into science skills, I will have more to tell you in other posts.
But for science and all the rest, the answer always becomes evident when you understand what you should practice next.
So in fact, when you try to figure out what needs to happen, be more specific, and ask yourself: "What should I practice next?"
So to sum up:
Skill is all you need.
(not love, like my beloved Beatles said, who were artists, not scientists)
Knowledge is good, but not so good as skill.
Skill is what makes you valuable.
Skill is your ability to consistently produce a target outcome.
To develop skill you must first figure out what that target outcome is. And then ask yourself: What should I practice next?
For your todo list:
Share with me your thoughts.
Check out www.skillblaster.com, where I post all my announcements, specifically about "Practice DB", soon to launch.