Turning Knowledge into Intelligence and Creativity

What is difference between Knowledge, Intelligence and Creativity?

Knowledge is facts, information, and skills acquired by a person through experience or education by perceiving, discovering or learning.

Intelligence is using that knowledge in different contexts to invent new thoughts, new ideas, etc.

Creativity is using intelligence to create new work, new inventions etc.

Why mere knowledge is not enough?

Our education system is mostly designed around providing and evaluating knowledge acquired and undermines intelligence and curiosity. if we just keep accumulating knowledge without applying, it will get lost. We need to make knowledge easily accessible to be able gain the intelligence out of it. Let’s think about how knowledge is stored in memory to find out how we can retain knowledge.

How knowledge is stored in memory?

The brain contains dynamic connection of neurons. Anything we retain in memory create new connections or change existing connections in the brain. The things we learn generally get stored in short-term working memory. But brain has only limited space in short-term memory. Most things get discarded out of short-term memory.

We mostly use repetition technique to make items in short-term memory stay long enough. But the biggest problem with memorization through repetition is that it frequetly puts the information on just one connection. The brain always seeks meaning, patterns with exiting information to make more connections. The more ways you have to find a piece of information, the easier it is to retrieve.

How to improve your intelligence?

Whatever you learn, associate it with a meaning, associate it with a different contexts, associate it with similar things - don’t learn anything in isolation. This will make it retain in long-term memory. Then knowledge will be easily retrievable when you want to apply it. This can help with generating new ideas.

How to improve your creativity?

Creativity is “just connecting things.” - Steve Jobs

Creativity is using imagination to connect, stretch and merge things in new ways. To improve creativity we need to further expand connections of information in our brain so that it can be easily combined, transformed to create new ideas. Curiosity can help expanding connections and is the essential element for becoming more creative.

Curiosity is a lens through which you view everything around you. Without it,there are no adventures to be had, With it, there are enough for a million times - **Sean Patrick , Awakening your inner genius **

Curiosity will persuade you to seek interesting things, discover new information, explore related things.


We acquire knowledge through learning and experiences. Whatever you learn, try to associate it with as many things you can. Always learn with curiosity to expand your knowledge, expand your ideas. You will able to create something new.

Further Reading

If you are reading this post with curiosity, you would be interested in further reading on this topic. Here are some useful resources.

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