Knowledge — What’s It Good For

Ken West
3 min readSep 24, 2021


Why it’s the key to your future

A Steampunk-like image of a young man with a top hat, seemingly thinking, as he is surrounded by books and has a huge clock face in the foreground
Image by S Greendragon from Pixabay

The purpose of knowledge is to understand the world and be better able to apply what you learn to your needs.

Fundamentally, knowledge and its application is the key to human flourishing.

It can be a pleasure to gain knowledge. Such knowledge adds to mankind’s available store — for eventual use. Knowledge without potential application is wasted.

When you seek to gain knowledge, you are using knowledge to help you take rational actions and achieve rational goals. For instance, if you want to learn how to cook, or play a game, or build a birdhouse, or write a short story, or just about any activity, you need to learn the basics first.

Then you find out the specific techniques that you need to excel at the activity.

Finally, you practice the activity until you gain competence and eventual mastery.

Questions for Self-Reflection:

What knowledge am I most in need of right now?

How could I gain this knowledge?

If I possessed this knowledge how would it make my life easier or better?

Your life span is the journey.

Ego is your driver.

Purpose is the road you travel.

Passion is the fuel for your purpose.

Knowledge is your three-dimensional GPS.

What Are the Stakes?

Graphic of a man leaping from one ledge to another over an empty chasm
Image by waldryano from Pixabay

The stakes are high — your happiness, a satisfying life, wealth, pleasure, the achievement of your dreams.

You have a limited life span to figure out what you want to do and to go out and do it.

The stakes are the quality of your life.

If you had an unlimited life span, if you never died, then you could have endless chances to achieve happiness.

But a limited life span is all you have.

It is what’s at stake.

Questions for Self-Reflection:

If I knew that I had one year to live, what would I do?

If I knew that I had three years to live, what would I do differently from the one-year scenario?

If I knew that I had ten years to live, what would I do?

How would it be different from the one and three-year scenarios?

What Will Be Your Legacy?

The top half of new skyscraper against the sky and clouds
Photo by Cole Parsons on Unsplash

Your achievements can live beyond you.

You can leave a legacy of achievement.

Whatever productive work you do contributes to the progress of the world, be it infinitesimal or huge.

What you leave your children, grandchildren, and your loved one’s lives after you.

Your work and your life comprise your legacy.

Questions for Self-Reflection:

What legacy do I want to leave behind?

What would I like written about me in my obituary?

What one thing would I most want to leave as my legacy?

Ken West is the author of Your Ego: It’s Your Salvation, Not Your Original Sin, a book about the importance of a healthy ego, and how to help your ego become stronger and bolder. He is also the author of the books, Get What You Want, Your Life Zones, Capitalism WIIFM, and Achieve Your Purpose.



Ken West

Write, Publish, Monetize.