Henry Ford was once confronted by a group of university professors. They wanted to prove once and for all that Ford was just an idiot. So they began asking him questions: “When was titanium discovered?” And Ford would pick up the phone and ask one of his aides the question. “Who was the first man to climb Mt. Everest?” Again, Ford would pick up the phone and find the answer. The professors objected – “As we suspected, you don’t really know much at all.” Ford responded, “Why would I fill my mind with all these trivial facts. I can hire your students to give me any facts I need. I need to keep my own mind clear for Thinking.”
So what do you think about the popularity of TV shows like Jeopardy and Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. Would these contestants really be able to run a business or even add great value to an existing one? What is the application of having a mind full of stagnant facts? What is required for innovative, creative thinking that carries you into the future? I am convinced that productive thinking skills are different than the skills of trivial cataloguing.
Knowledge is not wisdom – only potential wisdom. At some point getting more knowledge diminishes in value; action must be taken. Be a Henry Ford – grab the needed facts as you need them but don’t get stuck in inaction.