We live in an age of information. A few clicks on Google or YouTube and you can find out about anything you want to learn.
And you can fool yourself into believing that you have acquired knowledge and maybe even wisdom.
It’s easy to be lured into a false sense of confidence that you have the solution to your problem just because you spent an hour online doing research.
You know what your home is worth, what your symptoms are telling you, how to fix your leaky faucet. Whatever the issue is. You believe you know because you found your “answer” online.
What you have is information. That’s not the same as knowledge, let alone wisdom.
How to Make Sense of Information
3 things to keep in mind when you look at information.
(1) Is it Accurate?
How do you know what information you read is accurate in the first place?
Just because you read it online doesn’t mean it’s accurate.
If we’ve learned anything in the past couple of years it’s that the web is filled with misinformation. What filters are you using to check the veracity of what you discover in your online research?
(2) Is it Applicable?
How do you know whether the information you find is applicable to you or your situation?
If you’ve ever done a Google search with some health symptoms, you know that you can easily go down the black hole of mystery diseases.
Information is of no value if it’s not applicable to your situation.
(3) Is it Actionable?
Does the information empower you to take action? Do you know how to turn that information into a strategy?
Information that isn’t actionable is just clogging up the brain. If you can’t do something with it, why take it in in the first place?
What You Need
What you need, in addition to information, is expertise. The role of an expert is to help you identify which information is inaccurate and applicable to you, and to help you turn that informaiton into action.
The biggest mistake you can make in this world of too much information is to believe that you can do this alone.