We all go through an evolution of knowledge as we progress through our lives. But it takes places in each different aspect.
There is an evolution of knowledge with becoming a parent, getting married, being a doctor, learning to invest, really anything…even happiness…
That’s why I think that genius is at least equally made as it is born.
Awhile ago, I think when I was in medical school, I started to think about how knowledge goes through a metamorphosis. What started me thinking about this was clinical rotations when I quickly realized I knew absolutely nothing. Despite thinking I knew a lot after going through my non-clinical years.
And so this is my theory on the evolution of this knowledge…
Stage 1: You don’t know what you don’t know
Ah, this is the most blissful stage of all…but also the scariest…
You are just starting out with whatever knowledge base you are gaining. And quite simply, you don’t have enough experience to know just about anything. Including the things that you don’t know yet. You are blissfully unaware of your lack of knowledge.
Because of this, you have a false sense of security and confidence.
Haven’t we all started out learning something and looked back at how we did something that would give us so much more pause today?
I think most of us can think back to our early residency years and remember something we did with too little fear…not fully realizing the potential ways something could go wrong…
That’s this stage.
Stage 2: You know what you don’t know
OK, so now you’ve gained some more experience, learned more.
And you finally realize that vast space of knowledge that you do not comprehend yet. You develop a healthy respect for the knowledge you are accumulating and the risks/downsides associated with it.
The risk at this phase is that this knowledge handcuffs your and you don’t progress due to fear or analysis paralysis.
Stage 3: You know what you know
This is the stage where most people live in most areas of knowledge in my opinion. You gathered the experience and knowledge to know and be aware of what you actually know.
You’re basically an expert in what you know and capable of handling things within that sphere of knowledge.
But there is a stage beyond this…
Stage 4: You know what you don’t know
This is the stage of masters.
Certainly not where I reside in anything at this point. But it’s always the goal.
At this stage, you have broken down your knowledge into its component parts, understanding the building blocks to a level that you can re-build and form them to fit any problem. Even those that you haven’t encountered or “don’t know yet.”
I don’t think I’m at that stage in plastic surgery. But I see glimpses where I’m able to do something I’ve never seen or done before using all the skills and tools that I’ve collected over the years.
This is the final stage in the evolution of knowledge in my theory.
Of course, this also applies to everything else that I talk about here at The Prudent Plastic Surgeon…
In fact, you can see the stages of evolution at work in these posts full of mistakes and lessons learned:
- Top 11 Financial Mistakes That I Have Made
- My Past & My Unhealthy Relationship with Money
- 5 Important Money Lessons I Learned From My Wife
- 3 Real Estate Lessons Learned from Our Last Property
- Why We Backed Out of a Recent Real Estate Deal
What do you think? How does knowledge evolve? Have you gone through these stages? In which do you currently reside? Let me know in the comments below!