Think and Grow Rich
Specialized Knowledge, Personal Experiences, Or Observations
In this chapter, the author talks about the power of knowledge, which is the fourth step towards riches.
To begin with, there are two types of knowledge:
Colleges and universities provide general knowledge on many subjects but it generally lacks practical application. If one wants to achieve his goal, he should have specialised knowledge of that field.
There is a difference between knowledge and education. Knowledge itself is a form of power.
Thus, one must never stop gaining knowledge. Knowledge can be acquired through public libraries, colleges, and practical experiences.
Despite the importance of specialised knowledge, Hill says that it is not possible for an individual to have all the education, experience, and ability to accumulate riches single-handedly. He needs a Master Mind group, i.e., a group of people who have the expertise and knowledge who can help us in achieving our goals.
During the world war, a Chicago newspaper published several articles where Henry Ford was called an “ignorant pacifist”. Mr. Ford sued the newspaper for trying to defame him. During the court trials, Mr. Ford was asked to answer certain questions that were beyond his knowledge. Questions that might have proved that Ford was ignorant towards his business.
After getting tired of answering those silly questions, Ford finally said that he had the option to call upon any person from his mastermind group to answer those questions for him. So in reality, there wasn’t any requirement for him to muddle his mind with general knowledge because he had people who could supply him with that knowledge as and when he needed it.
This made everyone in the court realise that he was not an ignorant man but a man of education, who knew where to get a piece of knowledge from when he needed it. With the help of this very MasterMind group, Henry Ford knew he could change the whole auto-mobile industry.
People sometimes face inferiority complexes because their schooling was limited. They should remember that a man who can direct and organise a MasterMind group is just as educated as any other man in the group.
A person must first decide what kind of specialised knowledge is required. The goal he wants to achieve will help him to determine the kind of knowledge he should acquire.
After a piece of knowledge is acquired, it must be organised and put into practical application for a definite purpose. Application of knowledge is very important. The author says that a school might not be the best place to learn because it does not teach its students how to organise and apply the knowledge that they acquire.
Implementation of ideas and knowledge is actually what matters the most.
Successful men never stop acquiring specialised knowledge which is related to their business. Unsuccessful people usually think that the time to acquire knowledge ends when their school ends. One can only adapt to the changing times when he combines his thirst for knowledge with his imagination.
The author believed that a person who refuses to compromise with unfavourable circumstances is an asset whose value cannot be measured.