How many of you believe that knowledge is power?

Years ago, when I just entered 10th std, I found something really strange.

There was a lot of advice being thrown at me from different many people around, and it would go like this,

‘Ashok!, you’re now in your 10th std. It is the turning point of your life, you better study well now or you won’t get a good job.’

Because I kept hearing this quite often, I actually got scared, and put in sincere efforts into my studies. But to my surprise, when the results came out, I got to know 2 things :

  1. I was the topper of my school.
  1. there was absolutely NO TURNING POINT AT ALL.


Good evening fellow Toastmasters and guests.

‘Knowledge’ and ‘Awareness’ are 2 very different things.. Knowledge is information and skills that we acquire through education.  But Awareness is the art of solving a problem. It is the art of applying knowledge into real life!

Let me give you an example.

Tell me quickly, who comes to your mind when I say Apple computers? Steve Jobs! RIght?

Apple computers is a technology company, but  Steve Jobs was not a tech genius.Steve Wozniack was the actual tech genius. Then why is it that Steve jobs comes to our mind first?

Steve Wozniack would’ve continued making simple electronic gadgets just for fun if it weren’t for steve job’s awareness. Because steve jobs was ‘aware’, he managed to changed the world with the little knowledge he had about technology.

Neither did Steve jobs know programming not did he have a degree in design, but guess what! He played the role of an orchestra by putting things together and came up with the idea that every home can have a personal computer. Even though he’s no more, he still continues to live in the hearts of many people.

Now, I’m pretty sure most of us here are working. We all burnt the midnight oil, studying for hours together just to get that  degree or a label next to our name. But, then we’ll realise, all the years that we spent on ‘gaining knowledge’, was actually of no use, cause the actual learning happened in the first few months of the job, correct? Where has the power of all those years of knowledge gone?

If this is the box of knowledge, (pointing towards the board), the amount of knowledge I would’ve gained in my lifetime is just this much. (a dot on the board). And the balance is how much I still don’t know. We’re all focused in making this dot bigger and bigger! But we forget to apply it in our lives.


Am I saying stop gaining knowledge? No! Not at all! All I’m saying is, every time you make this dot bigger and bigger, make sure you also develop the art of applying it in real life.

Remember my friends, we need to know the difference between 3 important things. Knowing, Knowledge and Awareness.The best way to understand the difference between the three is through a very relatable example!

Do you all know what is Google forms?

Did an image come to your mind when I said Google forms!? That is knowing.

How many of you know how to use google forms? Creating, sharing and submitting.

That is knowledge.

But using google forms for the voting system at the end of each Toastmasters meeting? That is awareness. We’ve been using pen and paper, for a long time even though we knew a smarter way existed right?

Now, How do we go about developing this art of awareness? Is it something that only a few blessed people have? No, it’s something that any one of us can develop, by following the 3 steps –

Firstly, you need to accept that awareness is as important as knowledge.

Second, Introspection. Ask yourself ‘Why’ am I doing this?’ Be willing to think out of the box. Dare to think beyond what you know.

Lastly, you need to believe in your thoughts.

Have a resilient mindset. It is as buddha once said ‘’An idea that is developed and put into action is more important than an idea that exists only as an idea in the mind.”

I believe that each one of you here is blessed with a unique intelligence.So,put it to good use. Develop the ‘art of awareness’, by following the 3 steps. Accept. Introspect. Believe. Come up with creative ideas that the world has never seen before and most of all, Make this world a better place.


Thank you.