There’s a big difference between knowing something just to know it and knowing something that can be presented to someone else so they can benefit from it.
Knowing that a pack of Wrigley’s gum was the first item to have its bar code scanned may be useful if you ever have the Food & Tech of the 1970s category on Jeopardy, but outside of that may not be all that helpful.
There is value though if you can explain what you know in a way that helps others achieve more. And the better you can package what you know, the more others will want to listen.
For example, you can know more about finance than anyone at your university, but if what you’re saying doesn’t relate to your student, is the lesson worth it to her?
But if you can take all of your knowledge and repurpose it so she can not only learn, but get something of value that she can apply to her life and the lives of others, then you’re making a difference.
She now has a better idea of how to pay her student loans and plan for retirement, while having the ability translate this to others.
It’s how each of us does this that many times can separate the annoying from the usable and the good from the great.
Being smart is not the end of the game. It’s actually where the heavy lifting begins.