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September 15, 2011

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Andrew

I've been subscribed to your blog for a while and never thought to comment. Very excellent points. I mostly agree that wisdom is more powerful than knowledge and also agree that not everyone is born with wisdom.

Without wisdom, one does not have morals. Without morals, one does not know what are the right moral decisions that don't harm anyone, directly or indirectly. - Me

I'm glad that you've gotten rid of external stimulation and focused on internal stimulation. Specifically internal love which is a very powerful energy for continuous growth.

Enjoy your day.

Kent @ The Financial Philosopher

Andrew:

I appreciate your comment, especially after being a reader for a while. I agree with you: Wisdom can be considered the culmination of all virtue (contentment, simplicity, frugality, humility and so on).

Perhaps we may extend upon Sir Francis Bacon's idea that "knowledge is power." The power is obtained because the acquisition of knowledge can be accompanied by the realization that there is much that we don't know. In other words, the more knowledge we acquire, the wiser we become.

However, many people do not find this humility; they simply fool themselves into believing that their external knowledge is what provides the power.

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts and for being a reader.

Cheers...

Kent

Greg Linster

Thanks for sharing these lessons, Kent!

First, the problem with 10 year plans, if executed to perfection, is that you get what you wanted to 10 years ago. One of the things I'm most thankful for in my life is that my plans from my younger years didn't work out exactly as I planned.

Second, I feel ambivalent towards #2. I think knowledge and wisdom can coexist and can be of equal value. I've tried to shut off the outside world before too, but it didn't seem very wise, it felt selfish. Kent, you are a guy that is capable of making a positive impact on this world and with all due respect, I find it saddening to hear that you want nothing to do with what's going on in the external world around you. I think part of wisdom is being able to doubt your own knowledge; it's also part of what makes you a philosopher, but there are also things I think are worth fighting for. If you choose not to participate and engage in the outside world it ultimately makes the world a poorer place.

Cheers,
Greg

Kent @ The Financial Philosopher

Greg:

Thanks for the thoughtful comment. I agree with you on the value of participating in the external world. I have not removed myself from the external world but "minimized," or a better word would have been "reduced," exposure to external information, such as The Wall Street Journal and various trade magazines. In other words, I have greatly reduced "news" coming from sources that exist to sell advertising. I still watch the evening news from time to time and (as you know) I read a handful of blogs to expand my external knowledge. Most of my consumption is books.

Engaging the external world does not require consuming large amounts of external information.

Henry David Thoreau, for example, created his best work after stepping back from society.

I simply consume much less external information than the average person. I'm still engaged with the outer world but more of a producer than a consumer.

Thanks as always for keeping my blade sharp...

Kent

Greg Linster

Kent:

Thanks for the thoughtful reply. I think I understand what you were saying much better after your clarification. Battling 'the noise' is a difficult challenge for all of us, but shutting off the outside world isn't the answer either (and I now realize this isn't what you were suggesting. You were, I think, merely suggesting that we use more effective sources with a better signal to noise ratio, which I highly agree with!)

You are certainly correct to suggest that, in capitalist society, much of what passes for journalism is merely a tool used to sell advertising. That is unfortunate, but that is why we need people like you to keep writing!

I'm right there with you on reading books. As you know, like you, I'm a bibliophile myself. I really like this aphorism that Professor Taleb wrote in his latest book, "The book is the only medium left that hasn’t been corrupted by the profane: everything else on your eyelids manipulates you with an ad."

DJ

Kent,

I got caught on your 'workin for the man' comment, and not in a bad way, but in a good way. It really caused me to ruminate deeply. Although, not everyone can go off and start their own business, it is true that most employees are busily working at achieving SOMEONE else's dreams; the owner of the company, a spouse, a parent, etc. We must all summon that inner courage, no matter how uncomfortable at first, to live a truly authenic life, and not someone else's.

Kent @ The Financial Philosopher

DJ:

You make great points. Not everyone can start their own business but it is possible to enjoy what you do and work for yourself, even if you are employed by someone else.

For example, I did enjoy most of the work I did in my previous job "workin' for the man" and I still had the perspective that I was working for myself and my family even though it was on someone else's terms.

I know for a fact that my previous boss used me as a tool for his own advantage but I was also using him as a tool for my own. At the same time, I treated the clients I served as my clients--not clients of the firm. It paid off because many of those same clients followed me when I started my own business.

Thanks for adding to the conversation...

Kent

kk

I agree with minimizing the outside noise as it will serve you and your clients well. You will both benefit because you will focus on the big picture over the long term, and not be influenced by the short term noise that the financial world craves.

Print Mis

I am thankful for exerting your time and effort to post this very informative post. keep up the good work!

Dan Fielding

Your five points are Universal. They work for the pauper as well as the prince. However sometimes something you know in your heart doesn't click for you until you heard it said by a certain person a certain way. Great Post. I, like most people need a little reminder of the important things once in a while.

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