Zeal Tempered with Knowledge

Balance enthusiasm with intelligence

Zeal is a powerfully constructive force combined with knowledge—and devastatingly dangerous when motivated by a misinformed mind. Neither the mind nor zeal will do much good without knowledge. Even the most well-intentioned zeal could be harmful if it isn’t tempered with wisdom. On the other hand, in the absence of zeal, everything seems to be done with a “ho-hum” or a “have-to” sense of obligation. Opportunity may open the door that leads toward success, but without zeal, you won’t step through to take advantage of it. Knowledge can be taught, but it is much more challenging to make someone passionate about something.

To clarify, the type of knowledge we are referring to here is embodied by wisdom—the very name of our species, Homo sapiens, signifies “wise man.” People often speak of knowledge and understanding as though the two are the same, and both have quite a bit in common. The primary difference is that learning involves a healthy measure of perspective and the ability to make sound judgments about a matter, while knowledge is simply knowing. Anyone can become knowledgeable by reading, researching, and memorizing facts. Wisdom knows how to apply what is learned beneficially. When balanced together, zeal and knowledge embodied with wisdom provide an indomitable force for successful living!

Wisdom is only acquired through experience, which also provides us with more knowledge to navigate new challenges in life. If you are interested in trying new things and willing to reflect on the process, you can gain wisdom. Furthermore, by learning everything you can and spending time analyzing your experiences, then putting your knowledge into practice, you can become a wiser person. And with more wisdom, you can avoid making repeated mistakes. Here are some tips for gaining wisdom and knowledge:

    1. Try new things – it is hard to gain wisdom or knowledge when you do the same thing every day. Be willing to take a risk and try a task the hard way to allow yourself to learn, make mistakes, and reflect on the experience.
    2. Learn from others – talk to people with different perspectives and backgrounds from yours. Humbly listen, ask questions, and pay attention to what you can learn when you let go of your own biases that get in the way.
    3. Share what you know with others – don’t tell them what to do; lead by example by showing others the wisdom of being open, nonjudgmental, and thoughtful in all situations.