The story is told that the great scientist Einstein was once asked
how many feet are in a mile. Einstein’s reply was “I don’t know. Why should I fill my brain with facts I can find in two minutes in any standard reference book?”
Einstein taught us a big lesson. He felt it was more important to use your mind to think than to use it as a warehouse for facts. One time, Henry Ford was involved in a libel suit with the Chicago Tribune. The tribune had called Ford an ignoramus, and Ford said, in effect, “Prove it.”
The tribune asked him a score of simple questions such as “Who was Benedict Arnold?” When was the Revolutionary War fought?” and others, most of which Ford, who had little formal education, could not answer. Finally he became exasperated and said, “I don’t know the answers to those questions, but I could find a man in five minutes who does.”
Henry Ford was never interested in miscellaneous information. He knew what every major executive knows: that the ability to know to get information is more important than using the mind as a garage for facts.
Remember that the ability to think is of much greater value than the ability to memorize facts. Use your mind to create and develop ideas, to find new and better ways to do things. Ask yourself,
“Am I using my mental ability to make history, or am I using it merely to record history made by others?”
(David J. Schwartz – The Magic of Thinking Big)