June 30, 2021

Information-Knowledge...Belief?

By Barry Rudesill

In a little while, Maria and I get an exciting opportunity to sit down with teenagers and lead a mini-Trek series. We’re going to be doing this live, in-person, and...unscripted! The teens can ask us any questions they want and we’ll try to respond with honest answers.

The fact that this is more of a “dialogue” than a “program” especially appeals to me. There is nothing that I love more than to sit down with someone, drink a cup of coffee (or 8), and talk about what’s going on in their life. I can teach, I can speak, but having the opportunity to listen to someone, to have a conversation, is much more exciting to me!

But I also need to confess something: this event is NOT entirely unscripted! When Maria and I were talking about it with the person in charge, I mentioned that I wanted to ask one question on the first day of the event. My question? “Who are you?”

Now, if you’ve been through The Trek, you know that this question does not always have a simple answer… What’s quirky about this question is that there are three answers that people give me:

 

Information

This is the “basic” stuff that people give me. “I’m 40-years-old.” “I’m a father.” “I have 2.3 children.” “I have 1.6 dogs.” These are usually facts and figures; details that, while important, really don’t tell me much about anything…

When someone starts a conversation with basic information, I will let them continue for a time to see if this leads anywhere. If not, I follow up “Who are you?” with something like, “That’s nice that you like the color purple. So do I. But, who are you?”

And with that, we reach the next level:

 

Knowledge

Knowledge is based on our experiences. When people start speaking to me on the level of knowledge, they give me a bit more detail. “I have three children that I adore!” “I work in debt repayment and it’s exciting to help people get their lives back on track!” “I’ve really become active in [insert charity / church / volunteer opportunity here] because I feel so good helping people in need!”

Notice that their answers are longer, they provide more insight, and they usually have some sort of emotional response – either positive or negative. We’ve moved beyond basic data, but have we really hit who they are? Nope. And so, after a time, I like to ask a third question that goes something like this: “That’s great! You know what, I love my children, too! Thank you for sharing this with me. But...who are you?”

And, if they’re open, that’s when the real conversations begin!

 

Belief

I can have INFORMATION about who I am...and it doesn’t help me. I can have KNOWLEDGE of who I’m supposed to be – and the realization that I’m not that person can either motivate me to change or make me feel ashamed of who I’ve become. But until I believe the truth of who I am and who I can become, nothing changes!

It’s at the level of Belief that real conversations happen. It’s in our struggles, our doubts, our failings that we create negative Beliefs. And it’s by confronting those negative Beliefs, by understanding truth – Capital “T” Truth – that we become the person we want to be.

Today, I have one “simple” question for you. Care to guess what it is?

We hope you enjoy your journey!

- The Trek

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The Trek is an online personal development curriculum that is for anyone and everyone. If you are seeking a path to greater understanding, stronger relationships, and better interpersonal skills, join us on this life-changing journey. Your life will never be the same again.

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