Information, knowledge, wisdom: We use these words so routinely that we miss subtle lessons that lie in the distinctions amongst them. Your ultimate goal should be to develop wisdom.
At first glance, these words easily appear to be synonyms, but as I will show below, that conclusion erroneous, and that error holds us back from benefiting from important lessons that come our way.
Information is defined as facts provided or learned about something or someone. Knowledge is defined as the fact or condition of knowing something with familiarity gained through experience or association. Wisdom is defined as the ability or result of an ability to think and act utilizing knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense, and insight.
We are content in having “information” and mistaking it for knowledge or wisdom. But, notice how information moves from mere possession of facts to experience with them in knowledge. Notice further how wisdom moves beyond mere knowledge (experience), but relies on knowledge to “think” and to “act”. Notice how in wisdom it is important to understand the meaning of the experiences you have gained in knowledge, and to be able to apply common sense and insight t0 knowledge.
To sum up, recognize how possessing information merely creates the potential for you to gain knowledge (experience) and to develop wisdom. Whether you do so is dependent on the commitment and actions you take after that.
Understanding the difference between information, knowledge and wisdom is critical for those who want to move beyond mere potential and realize on that potential. Don’t settle for being “informed”. Make a commitment to use information to develop wisdom.