But Do You Really Know…

by Benjamin Langley on January 27, 2010 · 44 comments

“The most important key is knowledge”

-Dr. Yang (Founder of Yang’s Martial Arts Association)

“The intelligent man is one who has successfully fulfilled many accomplishments, and is yet willing to learn more.”

-Ed Parker (Founder of American Kenpo Karate)

And the first step to truly understanding is learning how to learn… exploring how to really gain knowledge!

I’ve been teaching for a while.

I’ve taught martial arts, personal development, meditation, mysticism, etc.

And as I move more and more toward story telling as my primary mode of teaching, this becomes less of a challenge.

But it is very hard to train an expert from story telling alone.

At some point… you have to practice…

You Have To Play The Game!

Still, while teaching, I’ll occasionally get the look… or the flat out statement of:

“Yeah, I already know that…”

But do you really know that?

What exactly do we mean by ‘know’?

know [noh]   (from Dictionary.com)

verb (used with object)

  1. to perceive or understand as fact or truth; to apprehend clearly and with certainty: I know the situation fully.
  2. to have established or fixed in the mind or memory: to know a poem by heart; Do you know the way to the park from here?
  3. to be cognizant or aware of: I know it.
  4. be acquainted with (a thing, place, person, etc.), as by sight, experience, or report: to know the mayor.
  5. to understand from experience or attainment (usually fol. by how before an infinitive): to know how to make gingerbread.
  6. to be able to distinguish, as one from another: to know right from wrong.
  7. Archaic. to have sexual intercourse with.

(number 7 has nothing to do with this article… but I left it in for fun… “How many people do you know?” :-) )

Most obnoxious interruptions (“I know that… duh”) come from people using 1,3, and 4 as their definitions.

I encourage you to start using 2,5, & 6 as your definitions.

What’s the real difference?

Definitions 1, 3, and 4 imply little more than intellectual understanding (from my perspective).

Definitions 2, 5, and 6 imply some level of practice for real understanding (in my not-too-humble opinion).

The implications of that last sentence are important!

Real Understanding Requires Practice!

You don’t get it until you do it.

You don’t really “already know that” until you have applied it.

How about an example…

Never Call “Bullshit”… Unless You Really Know!

Let me tell you a story that my karate instructor told me… about something he said to his instructor.

(for the story, my instructor is Mr. V, and his instructor is Dr. M)

Dr. M:  So this is a really powerful technique we teach as a defense against a right step through punch.  It’s called ‘Sleeper’. And when you do the choke properly, your opponent is unconscious in 3 seconds.

Mr. V:  Bullshit!

Dr. M:  What specifically?

Mr. V:  You can’t choke someone out in 3 seconds!

Dr. M:  I see.  Well let’s find out.  Throw the punch.

Mr. V:  (throws punch)

Dr. M:  (performs technique)

He was unconscious in 3 seconds!

(apparently, a few minutes passed before Mr. V woke up and apologized)

Although my instructor was well versed in martial arts at this point, he didn’t really know chokes.  He had seen them.  He had even applied a few.  But his real knowledge was limited.  This one experience gave him a deeper understanding of chokes, what’s possible with them, and what it’s like to be choked out.

Now, over 20 years later, his knowledge and ability with chokes… is nothing short of frightening!

Once you really practice… how you perceive a situation or technique will change!

Typically, the people who throw around “Yeah, I already know”, are the newcomers to the discipline.  Most of the people who stick around develop the humility (or already have it) to truly dedicate themselves to the study.  And humility tends to erase “Yeah, I already know that”.

One way this humility will frequently manifest is through the use of different terminology in response to questions of knowledge… some possible examples are:

  • I’ve been exposed to the material, but I don’t really know it yet
  • I’ve worked on that for a while, but there is still much to learn
  • I’ve been working on that for years, and I’m pretty good, but I’m not perfect yet

With physical skills, mind and body must act as one to truly manifest genius ability… and this can only happen with practice.

This isn’t just for physical skills, though…

It is just as applicable for intellectual concepts as well.

One example from my own life involves the word ‘Chi’ (now more commonly spelled ‘Qi’, but still pronounced the same way)

When I was 18, I had already read a book on Chi Kung… and I had a working definition of ‘Chi’… so I assumed I knew all about Chi.

That was 16 years ago… and though I’ve read quite a few books on Chi Kung, and I’ve practiced it quite a bit as well… I now realize that I truly know very little.

Understanding Chi as steam, breath, an energy field… or all these as aspects of the same thing… or experiencing any and all of the previous… is all still just the beginning of true knowledge.

This isn’t just true of Chi… it is true of every subject I’ve taken the time to sincerely study.

Why give this in a general article… why not thoroughly cover one specific example?

2 reasons:

  1. If you take nothing else away from this article, please understand that reading (even a brilliant article like this 😉 ) can only make you better at reading.  Without practice… it’s just more mental garbage taking up bandwidth in your mind.  Thorough coverage in books and articles is ultimately not possible.  All this article or any other can do is give you a push in the right direction… a little bit of effective knowledge.  But if you add effective knowledge to persistent practice…  look out!  That’s a potent combination…
  2. The means of developing real knowledge is a principle that applies across your life (in ways you have yet to imagine… but you can begin to… right now).  It is great to get better at physical skills and understanding your favorite subject… but what about your relationships?  How much wisdom do you actually apply there?  What about your religious/spiritual practice?  How much would it benefit from the power of understanding through sincere practice?

But why on Peaceful Prosperity?

Cultivating Consciousness requires sincerity with self.

If you don’t notice this behavior in yourself, I encourage you to look a little deeper.

You may recognize there are certain areas you want to be a little more serious about.  You may also realize there are skills and subjects you have a casual curiosity for… but you don’t really have a sincere interest in… and this is fine.  In fact it is great, because it offers you the chance to clear one more small waste of time out of your life.

Another level of this is just feeling good about yourself.  Are you a person that talks about doing big things… or are you one of the few that actually does big things?

Peace, Power, and Happiness in your life are a reflection of who you are… they shine out from that which you have internalized.  They don’t come from intellectual knowledge… they come from application… from you being the living embodiment of understanding and skill.

How to continually internalize knowledge and practice is another meditation you can take with you into every moment of every day.

Internalized knowledge might be described as ‘being’… it is now just who you are.

So who do you want to be?

And Finally…

Take action on this right now.

  1. Find some area in your life where you have a sincere desire for growth and look closely (and humbly) at how well your level of practice supports that growth
  2. Find some way in which you can implement a little more practice right away… (if your practice is already very good and very consistent… consider how you might make it a little bit better)
  3. Give yourself a good solid smile on the inside after every practice session (or reward yourself in some other practical, positive way)… remember that whether a given practice session goes good or bad, you are building the habits that lead to excellence in all areas of life

We’ll close with another quote from the late Ed Parker:

“Knowledge grows with time, work, and dedicated effort. It cannot come by any other means.”

keep smiling,


P.S.  Send this article to all those ‘know-it-all’s in your life… the people who think they understand without doing… and watch their neurons sizzle  :-)

{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

Tyrone Shum January 27, 2010 at 11:18 PM

Hi Ben,

Excellent post and very relevant. I really like what you said here:

“Peace, Power, and Happiness in your life are a reflection of who you are… they shine out from that which you have internalized. They don’t come from intellectual knowledge… they come from application… from you being the living embodiment of understanding and skill.”

Time for me to look and reflect on my life and see where there are greater areas to improve on… I think my relationships with long lost friends.



Ben January 28, 2010 at 7:10 AM

Thanks, Tyrone!

I think that’s my favorite piece of the article as well.

I think you’re on a great path… it seems to me that relationships are one of the places that virtually everyone has some significant growth or change they still want to make.

In my opinion, too many people are overly concerned with weight loss, smoking cessation, and having a nice new car… there’s nothing wrong with these as goals… but when we’re gone, how much will our loved ones who are still here care about our weight, or our car?

Relationships are a priceless area for introspection… for meditation.

keep smiling,



Jan - queenofkaos January 28, 2010 at 7:05 PM

I really like that quote too Tyrone. The entire article is a great illustration of something I’ve decided will be my theme this year – getting to know myself again and using that reconnection to become stronger in everything I want to accomplish.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the law of attraction lately because it seems to relate. I think that much of it was misunderstood and taken too literally – not with an inner knowing such as you are talking about – connecting with and OWNING the part of us that can become what it takes to attract – it is ours and already inside of us if our wants are true to us.

I’m just getting my mind around it myself, but I am thinking that once you are there, it should be effortless – not the doing in particular but the willingness to do if that makes sense – because it will BE us.

Too often we give that power away, many times without even realizing it as time goes by.

I wrote this on my white board to remind myself. After I wrote it I saw that it doesn’t really make sense literally, but if you ‘really know’, you know what it is saying :0)

“You become what you are.” (I could add, you are what you think you are – the important part is what you choose to think.)

And of course, you need to do what you are to be what you are… knowing you are is just the first step to being.

This piece of your article sums it up perfectly…

“Internalized knowledge might be described as ‘being’… it is now just who you are.

So who do you want to be?”

Thanks for your very insightful and life changing thoughts.
.-= Jan – queenofkaos´s last blog ..Hoarders – Between the Lines =-.


Ben January 29, 2010 at 6:07 AM

Thanks for the comment, Jan!

I think you are going in the right direction for more effective application of the Law of Attraction.

What I typically hear described as the simple mechanics of the LOA is somehting along the lines of “thoughts become things”… I would prefer to say that “who you are is reflected in the world around you, and consistent thoughts and actions tend to transform who you are”.

At least, that’s who I want to be :-)

keep smiling,



Andrew @ Blogging Guide January 28, 2010 at 12:22 AM

While reading this brilliant article, Ben, 2 things came to mind:


The 4 stages we go through when learning a new subject:

Unconscious incompetence
Conscious incompetence
Conscious competence
Unconscious competence

“Most obnoxious interruptions (”I know that… duh”) come from people using 1,3, and 4 as their definitions” and are still in the “Unconscious incompetence” stage!


I was once in the audience at a Leadership conference and the great man, Ken Blanchard was speaking. He said the best way to learn is to teach someone else the subject.

Loved the story about Mr M and Mr V!

.-= Andrew @ Blogging Guide´s last blog ..Blog-ger by NickelBack and Andrew Rondeau =-.


Ben January 28, 2010 at 8:05 AM

Very nice, Andrew!

This would have been great to add to the article… but it was running a bit long already :-)

I love this model from NLP as it really brings some clarity to stages of learning and growth.

At each level you get progressively deeper knowledge. Just going to Conscious Incompetence is already a tremendous leap (knowing that you don’t know is the beginning of all knowledge).

One challenge with the model, is when people reach the level of Unconscious Competence… some will think they are done… or have learned all there is to learn (Occasionally I see Black Belts quit training… they seem to think that since they are already a Black Belt there’s nothing left to learn). This is unfortunate. Unconscious Competence is incredibly powerful… but it’s not the end… it’s just another beginning!

And I agree… teaching a subject is the most powerful way to deepen your own understanding. I often think I get more out of what I do than the students/trainees/seekers do…. not to mention it’s a lot of fun for everyone.

Thanks for the comment!



Antti Kokkonen January 28, 2010 at 1:18 AM

I’ve always enjoyed reading, studuying and planning things. But I have always understood that I don’t know enough until I have taken action, and even then I am with peace with the knowledge that I don’t know it all, I know enough to do it again and improve on that. But do have the tendency to come across as “know it all”, because I do enjoy knowing stuff and sharing it with others (#1 reason I started blogging for example). In fact, on of the rare things that make me “angry” is when I don’t know something :) – and I have to go and find the info right away.

The interesting thing about knowledge and building it is that we do it every day, every minute even. For me personally, “logging” that knowledge into guides, blogs, tweets, documents and videos has been incredibly powerful. I have “notes” I can go back to, and if/when I put them on public, others can benefit from that as well.
.-= Antti Kokkonen´s last blog ..Free Google AdSense Secrets eBook =-.


Ben January 28, 2010 at 9:21 AM

Thank you Antti!

I have a love of knowledge, study, thinking, etc. as well. Dr. Glenn Morris used to call it “the Sincere Scholar”

And it sounds like you have seen the challenge and transcended it.

The classic saying is “Knowledge is power”. But unapplied knowledge is only potential power. Applied knowledge (preferably consistently applied knowledge) is power.

And once you have real knowledge, it seems only appropriate to share it with sincere students who are willing to learn 😉

And you are absolutely right… every moment of every day is a learning experience… to understand and make use of this is to master your growth!

keep smiling,



Bruce "the Mid-Life Mentor" January 28, 2010 at 3:23 AM

I like this very much. I have to explain concepts about health to my patients often. Many are PhDs and some are research oriented MDs and others are well informed laymen. All of them think they know (def 3 and 4 more than 1) and are wanting me to finish so they can use what they know to tell me what they need. Stories help them and so does the equivalent of what Dr.M did to Mr.V. I need to remember these lessons when I am the student. I appreciate the reminder so well written.
.-= Bruce “the Mid-Life Mentor”´s last blog ..Fat People – what does it look like inside? =-.


Ben January 28, 2010 at 10:00 AM

I’m glad you liked it Bruce!

It’s amazing that people get to a certain level, and stop paying attention to new learning.

I hold a 2nd Degree Black Belt in American Kenpo… but if I can shut up and listen for long enough… I might be able to learn something from a White Belt. We’re never too advanced to grow!

Stories do help quite a bit. A straightforward explanation has to get past all the little mental blocks and barriers… such as “I already know that” and “that’s not what I heard from Dr. X”. A good story though, bypasses all of that. It’s like you’re a kid again watching Star Wars (or insert your own favorite epic movie)… drawn into the plot points and characters… totally dazzled by the visual effects… filled with wonder… sitting eagerly on the edge of your seat… completely open, ready to soak in what comes next! (not even realizing the structure that is being taught unconsciously… completely unresisted)

Thanks for your comment!

keep smiling,



Phil January 28, 2010 at 5:08 AM

Interesting article although I do not know, if I would agree with all conclusion. I. e. I don’t need to practice against fear of height, I simply have it and I can live with it. Of course, practicing – where applicable – is always a good way to get to know things better, but it is not the only way in my humble opinion. I as an example can very good learn things from books with only a minor part of actually doing all the stuff. This depends on each ones personality.

Nevertheless a very interesting topic that initiates a good discussion 😉
.-= Phil´s last blog ..Raymond Chua says: =-.


Ben January 28, 2010 at 4:20 PM


I definitely agree with your last point… and thank you for being the voice of dissent that leads to good discussion :-)

I also agree with your first point… you don’t have to practice against a fear of heights or anything else you don’t want to. The point of this post isn’t to practice everything in the world… even if this was a desirable thing, there’s not enough time in your life. The point, is to begin to recognize where you just have an intellectual understanding, and where you really know. Or to borrow from Andrew’s comment… to become conscious of where you are competent, and where you are incompetent. Once you know this, it is up to you to decide where you really want to learn and where you don’t.

On another note, practice is always applicable. If you can’t see just how it is applicable… I encourage you to take a closer look. Even a very bookish, mental discipline such as philosophy, can be much more deeply understood if the student engages in discussion and debate (a style of practice).

And I suspect you know this. I’m willing to bet you don’t ‘just read books’ on Excel. I’m willing to bet you open up an Excel doc and get your hands dirty… and not only that, I’ve got the sneaking suspicion you’re the kind of person who will think up things you never heard of in books and try it in the live environment (Excel in this case)… and please feel free to comment back if I’m wrong.

Although it is true that some people get more out of books than others, books are never a substitute for practice (although they can make practice much more powerful). In my experience, the people that ‘get a lot out of books’ are the people who can’t wait to try the drills/games/exercises out in ‘the real world’.

Put simply, there is no way I can just read books and get your level of skill in Excel.

Likewise, there is no way you can just read books and get my level of skill in Kenpo.

I’ll close with a quote (that I’ve heard cited to Yogi Berra… but I’m not certain):

“In theory, there’s no difference between theory and practice… In practice, there’s a big difference!”

Again, thank you for helping to clarify this. Thank you for the interesting discussion!


keep smiling,



Phil January 29, 2010 at 12:40 AM

Hey Ben,

thought again about my comment and must admit, you’re right. Your example covering getting hands dirty *gg* is absolutely right.

I think that it maybe is a mixture depending on ones personality.
.-= Phil´s last blog ..Raymond Chua says: =-.


Ben January 29, 2010 at 6:41 AM

Thanks again, Phil!

Without someone to show us a different perspective, it is difficult to truly define our own… and it is nearly impossible to improve it.

I’m really glad that you had a contrasting point of view and took the time to share it :-)

keep smiling,



cheryl from thatgirlisfunny January 28, 2010 at 5:08 AM

This is really great. You’re pointing out something we all do. It’s important that we “know”. But when we think we already “know” what someone will say or how they will respond to a situation, we stop listening to them. That spells trouble in so many ways.

In the movie, “Avatar”, the main female character says to Jake, “I see you.” She lets Jake know that she doesn’t mean that he’s in plain view. She’s expressing something much deeper about how she sees him. I think that’s what you mean by really knowing or going through the process of deepening our knowledge of something.

A new student in jiu jitsu class told me that she was comfortable with her arm placement during a move. I told her that she was leaving it exposed. I demonstrated by gently applying pressure to bend her elbow, pressing my hand on her opposite shoulder and pushing her back to the floor. From her new position – on her back with me staring into her eyes – she understood what I meant in a whole different way.

“I see what you mean,” she said. It made us both laugh.
.-= cheryl from thatgirlisfunny´s last blog ..Panic Attacks and Cold Sweat: 5 Steps to Break Through Fears and Phobias =-.


Ben January 28, 2010 at 11:53 AM

Thanks, Cheryl.

I loved Avatar!

And I agree, the deeper level of seeing parallels the deeper level of knowing. One powerful method of learning is to simiply let go of beliefs and assumptions (even if only for a few moments) and really look at the world around you again. How much more would we all see if we just remembered to really look every now and then?

That’s one thing I love about the martial arts… there’s a real easy feedback mechanism. It can be easily demonstrated just how much you really know. If you’re tapping… the other person must have a point. If you’re getting up off the map and trying to shake off the cobwebs… the other person must have a point.

keep smiling,



Michelle Vandepas January 28, 2010 at 5:28 AM

Humble- being open to learn – even when you are a master – I think that is the real message of this story… Also – doing big things requires allowing ourselves to be small. Do you know what I mean by that? Stay humble, open to learning, expect the unexpected, don’t think you’ve got it all figured out, ask for help – these are a few things that allow us to play big.
.-= Michelle Vandepas´s last blog ..Just Like My Child Foundation- Vivian Glyck =-.


Ben January 28, 2010 at 12:00 PM

Thank you for the comment, Michelle.

And I think I do know what you mean… but let’s see.

The ego (all of our assumptions and mental habits) tend to get in the way of ‘genius’ performance.

A genius doesn’t ‘do’ the skill. He/she allows the skill to be done through him/her. The more he/she gets out of the way, the more beautiful the performance.

These are indeed the things that allow us to play big… I’m just starting to get my stride!

keep smiling,



Corinne Edwards January 28, 2010 at 5:58 AM

“I know that. What makes you think I didn’t know that?”

So annoying to hear that. Make you feel small.

(I can remember an old SNL skit on this subject.)

I particularly liked this in your article –

“Peace, Power, and Happiness in your life are a reflection of who you are… they shine out from that which you have internalized. They don’t come from intellectual knowledge… they come from application… from you being the living embodiment of understanding and skill.”
.-= Corinne Edwards´s last blog ..AN EVENING WITH JAMES KAVANAUGH – A Memorial =-.


Ben January 28, 2010 at 12:25 PM

Thank you, Corinne.

And I agree.

But it is very challenging to illuminate the ignorant (it makes me feel sorry for some of my early teachers :-) )

Some people will be swayed by a dynamic application of the skill or understanding in question. But others will still assume they can do it without trying, or give endless excuses for why they couldn’t do it (which are rarely the honest response “I refuse to practice… therefore I can’t perform”)

And you pinpointed my favorite part of the article as well…

I wonder how many people will really understand this…

I wonder how well I really understand this…

Here’s to emodying understanding and skill!

keep smiling,



Link Money January 28, 2010 at 9:12 AM


Words of wisdom friend.
We should never stop learning and it is always best to listen.

I hear what you say and will look inward.
Rich Hill
.-= Link Money´s last blog ..How to Search all Craigslist Cities at Once =-.


Ben January 28, 2010 at 12:39 PM

Thank you, Rich!

I will keep consciously learning through introspection as long as I draw breath…

…and I suspect the learning will continue even after that!

keep smiling,



Joel January 28, 2010 at 9:47 AM

Great stuff Ben! I’m in the fortunate position of having people around me who remind me every day that I don’t know everything on my subject – my clients. Your example about learning about a subject by teaching is very true as I can attest to daily – it’s a wonderful thing to be honest as every day I learn something new and something I can pass on to other people to help them. A very thoughtful post that was very well explained, thanks.
.-= Joel´s last blog ..Tired Of The Same Old Promises? =-.


Ben January 28, 2010 at 1:22 PM

Though it can occasionally be painful… feedback is truly priceless!

The people that tell you your faults are helping you (whether they know it or not)… assuming you are willing to be helped.

This willingness might be the most important part.

The willingness to be helped… the willingness to grow!

Thanks for the comment, Joel!

keep smiling,



Robb Sutton January 28, 2010 at 12:22 PM

I have always said…

“The day I think I know everything will be the dumbest day in my life.”

You always have to be willing to learn and expand your knowledge. Ego gets in the way of a lot of people’s greatness.

Great article.
.-= Robb Sutton´s last blog ..Never Underestimate The Power Of Free =-.


Ben January 28, 2010 at 1:38 PM

“Ego gets in the way of a lot of people’s greatness.”

I don’t know if I could say it any better than that, Robb.

Thanks for your comment!

keep smiling,



David Rogers January 28, 2010 at 1:22 PM

When I read any non fiction book I have a marker pen and post its to hand. I interact with what I’m reading and that makes for a more rewarding learning process – although I see I have much to learn from your suggestions! Sadly the computer doesn’t encourage us to learn this way – just skim read.
.-= David Rogers´s last blog ..Is Optimism the Foundation of Self Confidence? =-.


Ben January 28, 2010 at 1:47 PM

Yeah, highlighting on a computer just doesn’t work the same :-)

I’ve only recently started highlighting books. My excuse was “I want to keep these books as pristine as possible.” In practice, I was actually only keeping my ass as lazy as possible 😉

Just taking the time to Highlight is broadly telling yourself “this subject is important”. The specifics you choose to highlight then stand out as crucial points… as opposed to mere entertainment for the mind.

Taking action (even one as simple as highlighting) is a critical step to take in convincing the deeper parts of your mind that you’re serious about learning this subject.

Thanks for the comment, David!

keep smiling,



Eat Smart Age Smart January 28, 2010 at 3:21 PM


Very original article!

I have to agree with everyone here because this statement is quite powerful: “Peace, Power, and Happiness in your life are a reflection of who you are… they shine out from that which you have internalized.”

Once you’ve found true happiness, everything seem to fall into place.

Thanks for this uplifting post!



Ben January 28, 2010 at 4:22 PM

Thanks for your comment, Krizia…

And thank you for adding this:

“Once you’ve found true happiness, everything seem to fall into place.”


keep smiling,



Tish January 28, 2010 at 5:09 PM

Excellent article. The older I get, the more I realize the less I know. I would have done better in my youth to 1) shut my mouth, 2) engage my brain, and 3) LISTEN. 😉

One of my most illuminating moments was when I realized it was okay to say, “I don’t know,” that people wouldn’t think less of you because you admitted you didn’t know something.

Enjoyed the read. Thanks for sharing.


Ben January 28, 2010 at 8:46 PM

Life truly is a process of growth…

It took a long time for me to add “I don’t know” to my vocabulary, too.

Thanks for the comment, Tish!

keep smiling,



Birney Summers January 28, 2010 at 6:21 PM

“to understand from experience or attainment” can some times block a person from being open to learning more or receiving a deeper understanding of a topic. In my own life there are some topics that I have trouble with being open to the thoughts of folks who lack the same experience.
.-= Birney Summers´s last blog ..HOW MUCH WILL IT COST TO RUN MY ELECTRIC SPACE HEATER =-.


Ben January 28, 2010 at 8:50 PM

Quite true.

At certain points… I viewed my life as an ‘exclusive club’ of all the people who had the same or similar understandings that I did.

This attitude handicapped my social life.

It’s important to get the experience… but it’s also good to stay humble enough that we can help those who haven’t had the experience to see what they’re missing!

Thanks for the comment, Birney!

keep smiling,



Lisa January 28, 2010 at 6:45 PM

Excellent post — this is my favorite part:

“Peace, Power, and Happiness in your life are a reflection of who you are… they shine out from that which you have internalized. They don’t come from intellectual knowledge… they come from application… from you being the living embodiment of understanding and skill.”

I think we all search, each day for peace, power and happiness, in the way you describe. I can only think of a very few people who manage to have all three, and they have wonderful lives. For those people, it’s not the monetary things that make their life full (although the people I am thinking of have monetary wealth as well). If you think about it, people who have great balance are able to attract different types of riches, both monetary and not — their lives are complete and full in all ways.

An eye opener for sure. thanks for sharing. I re-tweeted as well
.-= Lisa´s last blog ..Cards for Nie =-.


Ben January 28, 2010 at 9:01 PM

Thanks for the comment, Lisa!

It seems just about unanimous… I think that is almost everyone’s favorite part (I’ll just have to do the whole article that way next time :-) )

Peace, power, and happiness are aspects or consequences of consciousness… they are the twinkling of your inner light. And just like external light… there is no need to turn up the sun… just open the curtains and more light automatically shines through.

And you are right. Wealth is not needed for these qualities of consciousness, but they don’t preclude wealth, either.

All that is required, is the Cultivation of Consciousness…

… and we can begin to do that every moment of everyday!

keep smiling,



Raymond Chua January 28, 2010 at 10:00 PM

Thanks for the definition of ‘know’. The last one is really funny. :)
.-= Raymond Chua´s last blog ..A Start of Something New =-.


Ben January 29, 2010 at 3:49 PM

Thanks Raymond…

I hoped at least one other person would enjoy that… it looks like you’re the one!

keep smiling,



Keller Hawthorne January 28, 2010 at 11:25 PM

A thought-provoking read Ben!

I have to admit definition number one seemed to be the best to me at first:

“to perceive or understand as fact or truth; to apprehend clearly and with certainty: I know the situation fully.”

That is, until I reread the first line – “to perceive as fact or truth.” I think you this one could be seperated into two different definitions – one being perception and the other being apprehension. Then again, can you apprehend something without holding a perception about it? Humm…

Very interesting – there’s always more to learn. The day you know everything would be probably be the day life offers no more value to you.
.-= Keller Hawthorne´s last blog ..VIDEO: Link Cloaking 101: What, Why and How =-.


Ben January 29, 2010 at 6:37 AM

Definition 1 (and a few of the others) were kind of tough to decide on… I ended up just placing them where it seemed to make the most sense.

The challenge with clearly defining words is it often leads to more words that need to be clearly defined. :-) I think the best we can do is understand the need to perceive where we are really learning and where we are just adding information.

Antero Alli (VerticalPool.com) talks about the 3 functions of the neuron… receiving, digesting, and transmitting information. ‘Intellectual’ knowledge usually misses out on the ‘digesting’ phase. This is often encouraged (unconsciously) in schools. If you can intellectually comprehend the information, and then regurgitate the information for the test… you pass. Real understanding and real application are often tough to measure in a classroom environment.

And you make a beautiful point: “there’s always more to learn. The day you know everything would probably be the day life offers no more value to you.”

I couldn’t agree more… I think the day I’m done learning will probably be the day I’m just plain done… 😉

Thank you for your comment, Keller!

keep smiling,



Darkmans Darkroom January 29, 2010 at 8:56 PM

Great post, love the never call BS analogy. I also have to say that reading a book and truly knowing something inside and out, is completely different like you said and I’m glad that I’m not the only one who knows this.
I’ve been studying Wing Chun with the same Teacher on and Off for 22 years, I’m still a beginner.
.-= Darkmans Darkroom´s last blog ..Hurrell Hollywood, Book of Large Prints =-.


Ben January 30, 2010 at 7:25 AM

It’s an easy mistake to make… but the feedback mechanism in certain skills (like martial arts) is great for showing us the error of our ways…

“Ouch!… well I must not know that as well as I thought I did.”

It can be painful… but I wouldn’t swap that learning experience for anything!

Thanks for the comment!

keep smiling,


P.S. I’ve only been with my current instructor for 10 years… 22 is pretty impressive!


lance nelson January 30, 2010 at 12:23 PM

Hi Ben,

What a great article, thank you.

It makes all the difference to be able to appreciate other views. Spot on views to stimulate this fine discussion.

.-= lance nelson´s last blog ..Head’s Up Ski Gear Review =-.


Ben January 31, 2010 at 4:09 PM

Thanks, Lance… I’m glad you enjoyed it!

Thank you for your comment…

keep smiling,



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