I’ve been thinking a lot about knowledge lately. Specifically about how little I have of it. These days I’m hungry to know more about electric cars, the Keto diet, cognitive psychology, digital marketing, product development, gardening. Yep, I’m all over the place.
Mankind’s capacity to store the colossal amount of information in the world has been measured by scientists. The study, published in the journal Science, calculates the amount of data stored in the world by 2007 as 295 exabytes.
For someone that’s never truly been interested in just one subject, this is a major problem. I need 100 lifetimes in order to touch upon all this data stored. Except with each new lifetime, more data will have accumulated.
My dilemma will be infinite.
So whenever I get caught up in wanting to know more, I tell myself to step off of the crazy hamster wheel because knowledge without purpose won’t get me anywhere. So then, I tip to the other extreme: wishing I had all of the knowledge in just one area. The mere idea of being known as an expert calls out to me. But THEN if I truly think about becoming an expert, it makes me unhappy.
People, the moral of the story is that I don’t know what I want. But that’s a topic for another day.
Because for now, I want to talk about how you should be confident about what you know even if (like me) you find yourself wishing you knew more. I find myself spending most of my days contemplating my life, career, and relationships. I’ve veered away lately from communicating with people, so whenever I have to have a conversation, I stumble, as if I’m learning the language all over again.
Don’t let anyone tell you that living in your head isn’t pure bliss.
And it makes me feel inadequate. It makes me feel as if I have nothing to say. That I have no knowledge of anything.
My impostor syndrome and inferiority complex kick in at high speed.
The only way I rectify feeling that way is to remind myself of all the things that I DO know. Instead of focusing so much on what I do NOT know.
I know a lot about being introverted. Tennis. Traveling. Cultures. Technology. Home improvement. Real estate.
I might not know the minutiae that an expert might in each one of these fields, but then again, I shouldn’t compare myself to them because they spend 24 hours a day in it.
So if you’re also questioning your intelligence and your confidence takes a hit (because there aren’t enough hours in a day to absorb all the knowledge you desire), remember that you know more than you think you do.
And if that doesn’t help you, find solace in the fact that no one will ever know everything. That usually helps me feel better when I have to say “Sorry, I don’t know much about this topic”.
With 295 exabytes floating around, can they really blame me if I don’t?