Knowledge without practical application creates nothing of value to others. Think of a “professional student” who never applies acquired knowledge for the greater good. That is unrealized, even wasted, potential.
Experience is the world’s classroom and provides learning in its own way, both from things that work out and things that don’t exactly go according to plan. Without a related foundation of knowledge to focus efforts, however, the potential is limited and the outcome probably more random.
It is when Knowledge is coupled with Experience, and Experience is actively adapted accordingly to what is learned from it, that real potential is unleashed. That’s what I call Exponential Potential; if it were a math equation, it might look something like this:
I’d like to share a quote from Colin Powell’s new book titled “It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership” that captures the essence of this idea:
“No matter how significant or life-changing your greatest hit or miss might be, neither even begins to define all of who you are. Each of us is a product of all our experiences and all our interactions with other people. To cite calculus, we are the area under the curve.”
If you’re looking for some remarkable summer reading, and are interested in reaching your Exponential Potential, I heartily recommend his book to you. At the very least, I encourage you to consider what you’re doing daily to gain useful knowledge and actually apply it in the work you do.