Understanding the difference between the following words can set a man apart from a boy. It can create a Mark Zuckerberg from high school, convert an addict into a preacher and build an enslaved outlaw into a King. The following comparisons explain why only a few people stand out from over 7 billion others in the world. Such people have found the following answers, so I would advise you to take a seat also because you are about to start making better choices.

 1. Wise vs Smart

The smart thing to do is to be wise

You can’t impregnate nine girls and expect to have a child in 1 month. That’s trying to take a fast route. It won’t get you there. I agree that we need to be smart but when we apply shortcuts to critical life issues, we make a mess of the situation. Now imagine we have “fast education”, “short pregnancy”, “brief marriage”, “instant growth” etc. We would only derive weak results. But when the process is right, the product will be.

We take the shortest cuts because they are easier and faster but most times they cut us short! For example, to conquer a mountain, you can either climb or choose another route (don’t even think of an explosion). One of the two will build you up; the other will speed you up. (Don’t forget there will always be mountains in life and you can’t keep evading them all) so be wise. And that wisdom comes from paying “attention” to instructions and being willing to learn. Read more about that here.

2. Diligence vs Hard work

To be diligent is better

Only 1% of the world’s population controls more than 90% of the world’s economy. That’s alarming, isn’t it? I assure you it didn’t start with billionaires making billions. Rather, it started from our school days. In school, a hardworking student goes to school early, reads appropriately and doesn’t even miss classes. However, a diligent student adds direction and purpose to all the hard work. Why do we go to school in the first place? How many students know the answer to this question? Only a few(now that takes you back to the 1% factor).

A diligent student is not limited to just a school curriculum but consumes every relevant information on leadership, financial education, emotional intelligence, etc. That’s what life requires. Not just what you studied. Anybody committed to continuous improvement (The Kaizen principle) is diligent. Hard work is not enough. Choose to be diligent! A simple way to evaluate your diligence level is how well you carry out duties when no one is watching you.

3. Knowledge vs Information

Always connect information to birth knowledge

We learn through our Perception, Reason, and Emotions. To understand the difference between information and knowledge read these analogies. Information is free; knowledge is not. Information is like bricks while knowledge is the house. You can get information, but you gain knowledge.

It’s not advisable just to be informed about a topic. That’s just the first step. Let’s say, Android 7.0 is out, that’s information. What is it called? What are the new features? Wait, what is android? The answer to these questions will give you knowledge about that topic. Information is everywhere (just google it) but how many topics can you say you know about very well? If you want to become wealthy, influential or powerful, you need to have depth in relevant issues. You need to spend hours digging into grounds of information to get a supply of water (knowledge) then use that water to cultivate your world.

4. Effective vs Efficient

Hands holding traditional and energy efficent lightbulbs
It’s efficient to be effective

Let’s explore the dictionary together.

Efficient (adj): performing in the best possible manner with least waste of time and effort.
Effective (adj): adequate to accomplish a purpose; producing the intended or expected result.

When you leave planet earth, which of the two definitions would you prefer be written about you?

To be efficient is to do things right, to be effective is to do the right things. In our world, many people have talent(s), but only a few know how to get results. John Maxwell said, “Efficiency is the foundation for survival. Effectiveness is the foundation for success”. The difference between a good drummer and a great drummer is that a good drummer knows the right beat, but great drummer knows when to use them. In simple terms, to achieve success in anything: your career, academics, family, etc. do the right things but focus more on getting results(being effective). How? By always having a vision…

5. Authority vs Power

With authority, you can maximise power

This is my favorite.

A thief has the power to search your house or stop your car, but a police officer has the authority to do the same (legally). In definition, Power is the ability to do or act. Authority is the right to use that power.

Before we can get authority, we must have passed through what I call the “Wilderness of Tests”. Did you notice that thieves are always short timed and fearful? But a police with authority has confidence, freedom, and peace to operate on.

To have power is like having a talent you are developing while authority is performing before a large audience. You don’t just get that in a day. You must have obeyed the principles of consistency and the person of your manager. You must have served. And that’s because Authority comes with trust.

Many young people don’t know this. They just want to get to the zenith of the ladder immediately they see the gains it promises. That’s why many successes don’t last. They don’t have coverings over them. Gain the trust of your boss, your manager, your teacher, your parents, your mentor, your pastor. They only can give you the authority to rule your world.

6. Growing well vs Growing fast

You grow fast only because you grow well

I came across an African proverb that says: “The danger with this generation is that they want to eat dinner in the morning”. Look around you. How old is Facebook, Toyota, or the USA? (13, 79, 240). These are the rulers of our 21st-century world. They are our model for excellence. We want to become so much like them that we forget they were once like us. Rev WARD will say, growth happens over time not over night.

Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai was not built in six months and Dangote Group did not just start operations last year. You need consistency to grow, to succeed. Anything that doesn’t grow well would crumble when harsh weather comes. And note, “when” not “if”. Try all you can to grow well. Success is failing constantly without losing enthusiasm. And that’s how children learn to walk.

7. The Truth vs True

Some things are true but not the truth

Do you remember the story about some blind men who went to the zoo to see what an elephant looks like? One of them touched the animal’s tusk and felt an elephant looked like a spear. Another touched its ears and thought an elephant must be a fan, one, the body (a wall) and the other, the tail (a rope). All these men were sure of what they felt and went home feeling satisfied.

A chunk of what we hear today are just mere opinions. They are only a fragment of the entire truth. Let’s compare it further.

Some things are true like popular sayings and public opinions. They are shallow assumptions, and they change with the times. Others are “the truth” like God’s Word, principles. They are deep, patterns, definitions, unchanging.

Don’t settle for the little you were told, always seek to gain a wider perspective. That is where the treasures and beauty of life lies. Imagine you thought an elephant was a rope?

so which of these comparisons do you love most? let’s hear your comment below…

Image credits: Google images