You don’t always have to know it all

Why your obsession with knowledge is holding you back

One of the most powerful things you can say in our modern world as a human being is to say: “I don’t know”, or even more provocatively: “I don’t care”.

Our society seems to have been ordered that every person must know everything that’s happening in the world, watch every single TV show, follow the news religiously, and always be knowledgeable and informed in all aspects of life.

Information Overload. Photo by z yu on Unsplash

But is this really necessary? Are you threatened by death to partake in this social obligation, or are you scared of appearing silly and dumb? In some sense, yes, you owe it to the world to generally know world events that may affect you and your family, but beyond that, everything else is extraneous.

Are you threatened by death to partake in this social obligation?

The clutter in your head from all of this extra information input is clouding your decision making. It’s harder to think and be in the present when a 24/7 media stream is bombarding you about the most recent polarizing political event, or if you’re constantly stressed about the state of the country. Because in reality, what are you going to do about it? The majority of news is an echo chamber of opinions, magnifying events until they seem to be the most important thing in the world.

Photo by Elijah O'Donnell on Unsplash

You really don’t have to know everything, it’s only through societies external pressure that you seem to be forced too. Take a step back, and stop yourself.

“If you wish to improve, be content to appear clueless or stupin in extraneous matters-don’t wish to seem knowledgeable/ And if some regard you as important, distrust yourself.”

- Epictetus, Enchiridion, 13a

How much more time, energy, and brainpower would you have available if you drastically cut your media consumption?

How much more rested in present would you feel if your emotions weren’t consistently stirred up by every scandal, breaking story, and potential crisis (the majority blown out of proportion).

Be serene in your lack of knowledge in extraneous matters. Photo by Sid Leigh on Unsplash

You’re being held back by your devotion to knowing everything. Be content to be stupid in extraneous matters, it’s the only way to focus on what truly matters.

Passionate about building cool shit. First-year undergrad student studying EECS and Business @ UC Berkeley MET Software developer at Carline.

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