This incident happened when I must have been about 15 years of age. Every day I would go to the house of my best friend and spend some time with him and his family, I was so attached to his family that if I missed going to his house for a day, I would feel something is amiss, and so would his family. One day, I noticed an ambassador car parked outside his building, it looked like a well-maintained second hand car. And when I entered my friend’s house, I found the whole family was excited about something and when I asked my friend for the reason, he pulled my hand and took me to the balcony and then pointing his finger to the car said, “We bought that car!” Now, it was my turn to get excited too, I said, “What are we waiting for, let’s go for a long drive.”
My friend said, “That’s the problem, none of us knows how to drive.” And I said, “That’s no problem, I know how to drive.” So my friend handed over the car keys to me and off we both went running down to the car. I opened the door, got into the driver’s seat, my friend sat next to me. I put the key in the ignition and started it with great confidence, my friend, very happy that I knew how to drive. I had my right foot on the accelerator, and the left foot on the clutch, I engaged the gear and before I could realize what happened, the car shot like a bullet and went and banged with good force on the opposite building wall! The front portion of the car was completely smashed. My friend sat there, absolutely stunned. Then said, “My father is going to kill me.” When I was back in my friend’s house, I could not have any eye contact with the family members, though none of them said anything, their body language was saying loud and clear, “You stupid fellow, if you didn’t know how to drive, why did you do it? Look, what you have done to our car on the very first day it arrived.”
Some days later, when things had cooled off, when my friend was back to normal, he asked me, how in the hell did I get the idea that I could drive. I told him, whenever I travelled by bus I would always stand next to the driver and observed his actions, and it looked so easy. My friend then showered some choicest words on me, which can’t be mentioned over here. But that day I learnt a lesson, knowing is knowing and doing is doing! If you know and if you can’t and don’t do, it is as good as not knowing. And if knowing was doing, then we don’t need to get married at all!
Two words, “I know” we use them so loosely and so easily. But the world is not interested in what you know. A company doesn’t pay a person based on what he /she knows, but on what he/she can do with what they know! We may know a hundred thousand things, but we may not do them, just knowing has no meaning. Let us consider this, Don’t we all know that it is good to be punctual, to have a positive attitude, to acquire new knowledge and new skills, to work in a team, to plan, to share, to respect, to listen, to trust, to be honest with self and others, to express oneself, to strive for excellence, to eat healthy, to exercise, to meditate, to pray, to apologize, to be polite, to keep promises, to honour expectations. I am sure most people would agree that they know all that I just mentioned, but the important thing is what they do, because that’s what produces results. I have more respect for a person who just knows 10 things and does all 10 things, and little respect for someone who knows a thousand things and just does 10 things.
It has been my experience that when participants come to a training program with the mind-set of “I know” then their takeaway from the learning experience is nil. But if participants come to a program with the mind-set “I don’t know” then their takeaway would be maximum. When a person says, “I know” what they mean is their cup (of knowledge) is already full, there is no scope to fill anything more and if we still try to fill, it will spill.
Let me leave you with a final thought to reflect on. How many things do you claim that you know, ask yourself, “Do I know this, because I heard of it from someone, read it in a book, or saw it on the TV / internet?” And then ask yourself this very important question, “Can I do, Do I do what I claim to know?” I would also suggest you make a list of things you know, then go through it, tick of the ones that you can actually do well. The rest, either go and learn how to do them or have the guts to say, “I don’t know.”
The other day I met a person whose son recently got a pilot’s licence and was flying a Boeing 737 as a co-pilot. Now this guy, gave me full details of how to fly a 737 Boeing, I was impressed. It was only some time later that I learnt that he was terrified to even driving a car! I smiled to myself; here was another person who just knows how to fly an aeroplane. If he were the pilot, I would never sit in that aeroplane!