In the previous episodes of this series we saw:
- A brief historical background of Judah in the days of Nebuchadnezzar/Daniel
- We defined Influence, explained our context and analysed some requirements necessary to become a divine influencer.
- We saw that these influencers must be people without blemish and well favoured.
- They must be skilful in Wisdom.
In this article, we shall analyse an important item stated in Daniel 1:4, “Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans.”
5. Cunning in knowledge:
Knowledge used in that passage of the Scriptures essentially means to know by observing and reflecting (thinking). And this concise description encapsulates one of the most important qualities a divine influencer must possess.
It is almost impossible and will amount to an illusion to think that you can influence the world systems without adequate knowledge, or rather, constant acquisition of knowledge on certain issues.
Skill and understanding were indeed given to Daniel by God (Daniel 9:22) but it’s also true that Daniel was a good reader. In fact, in Daniel 9:2, we see that Daniel “understood by books” the 3 periods of the 70 years prophecy given by Jeremiah.
And a little reading of that entire chapter will give you an insight into the depth of Daniel’s knowledge; of God, the history of Israel and the law of Moses. His citations were apt and his arguments sharp.
So, here are a few things you need to know:
Expertise in your specialty
Study, research and strive to become an expert in your field. It’ll be needless to know every other thing without having enough knowledge of your field. Men/women of influence in the world can easily be identified with a particular field of speciality despite their involvement in several other areas of endeavour.
For example, Bill Gates (Microsoft), Steve Jobs (Apple), Jeff Bezos (Amazon), Henry Ford (Cars), Jay Z/Beyonce (Music), John D Rockerfeller (Standard Oil), Warren Buffet (Investment), Benjamin Carson (Neurosurgery), Oprah Winfrey (Media), Donald Trump (Real estate), Aliko Dangote (cement), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Elon Musk (tesla), Denzel Washington (Actor).
They first focus to make a name in a field before they diversify. You must strive to become an authority in your field first – that’s the key.
Master areas of high yield.
There are certain areas of life that influential people and those in authority love; they discuss these even when they’re seriously focused on business.
For example sports (golf readily comes to mind but it’s not limited to that), history of prominent empires and kingdoms, music (classical, jazz etc.), finance/economics (investments, stocks), food (cuisines and restaurants), family, politics (policies instead of left/right polarised discussions), arts (paintings, drawings), hobbies and of course things related to health.
There’s no need to be stuck on cable news 24/7 or compulsively browse news websites except if you’re interested in a career in the media. However, you must know what is happening around you and the world.
Master the art of learning what is relevant and some ‘irrelevant’ but important happenings for where you might be heading to. A few things bore a conversation like talking with someone who has no idea on any other thing apart from his or her field of specialisation.
Learn from others
Also, observe and learn from others. There are hundreds of thousands of people who easily know better than you do on any subject matter. You’ll be foolish not to know this and stupid not to be humble enough to learn from them.
Search for precedents
Search for precedents in the areas you want to be influential in and study their lives, successes and failures. This will save you a ton of mistakes in the future.
Identify your weak points
You can’t grow if you don’t identify your weak points. Reflect on your knowledge gaps and try to plug them. There are always weak points in an argument, so don’t pretend that they don’t exist.
Observe and restrategise
Worldly influencers observe the trends, check their traffic, search for leads and re-strategise if need be. You can’t do otherwise.
Continue to maintain some level of curiosity and update yourself constantly. This is quite an important point. Learning or acquisition of knowledge does not end in the four walls of an academic institution but continues throughout life.
Updating oneself with the latest findings in one’s areas of interest is mandatory for anyone who desires to influence his or her world.
Thanks for joining me on this episode.
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