Are there benefits to learning EVERYTHING?

It’s easy to know it all when you have a smart device. You have Google, DuckDuckGo, Bing, Dogpile, and many more search engines at your fingertips.

Infact, few people don’t know this, but there are search engines especially designed for specific purposes. Unique search engines for academic research, PDFs & ebooks, Image/ video search, data & statistics, social search, etc. (This way your search results would be near perfect without having to pass through irrelevant pages like you would if you just ‘googled’ everything)

Now with how easy it is to know it all, do we really know it all, even with our high and mighty smart phones?

Would anyone really like to know it all? Allll?

Imagine for a minute. Say, you were put in a position to have all the sources and facts about cricket sport, and golf, just as much as you know football. You’re also given the chip that you could slot into your brain and have histories of biomedical reconciliation downloaded to your brain cells.

And since you care about the environment for instance, resources for waste management of all the states are handed over so you update your knowledge on current (in)efficient practices of waste disposal and recycling.

Then you’re stationed to draft learnings from the various styles of governance across continents – from Alexander the Great to Napoleon. And even Julius Caesar. All so you could curate world changing policies should you emerge into political office.

Not only those, the mastery of all kinds of meal techniques and preparations. Saving plugs like Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver for chef mastery. (In Food Channel (DSTV) this lady mentioned them while referring to best chefs). (For me, it’s Gusteau—the overweight chef, and Remy – the ‘manlike’ rat from Ratatouille).

There’s also art & literary gems to look over, various cultures to compare and polish your knowledge on, music & entertainment, and so many other classifications in the world.

Mind you, these are just the good, happy, positive stuff. Alongside, you’d also be given notes and ultimatums on crisis, the dirty, sad and foggy topics of the world too.

How interesting would learning them all be?

Being confronted for opinion on all aspects and having to give insights on every topic there ever is.

Here’s a guess, it would be rather exhausting, draining and at some point boring.

Now, I don’t totally support but here’s a generic response, assumably, the stereotypical psychologist may dish out,

Knowing everything has much more to do with our egos and our fear of being judged or embarrassed, than it does with a sincere desire for knowledge and information. We want to control the uncontrollable: life.” Nailed it huh.

One Prakash Bapat attempted a helpful explanation on one simple formula using Sanatan dharma (Hinduism) for what you should learn and how much.

The Breakdown to Knowing it all

He said knowledge is being split in two parts- Apara and Para.

Apara knowledge is the compulsory one for the day-to-day, and can be learnt without much efforts. The kind of general education we get in school. The knowledge can be wide and it’s alright to have restricted depth.

You need this one to conduct business, personal economic growth, development and the likes.

This type of knowledge also must be learnt diligently such that at any stage of life if you need to learn a new thing to change your business, trade etc you should be able to swap without much difficulty.

The Para knowledge requires higher level of competence and mental ability, leading you also to self-knowledge. This one would make you enlightened with a broader perspective of life.

Read: Why do you learn when you’re not being provoked to

This is the one that requires selective learnings. Topics can be learnt one after the other.

The tip is here —> It’s not advisable to run after every para. Just learn enough to make a good living and be extraordinary.

But what if learning everything is what it takes to becoming extraordinary…

So David Searson, in an article, sums it up to

It’s not information overload. It’s filter failure.” – Clay Shirky

For him, it’s all about filters. If you know less (by setting up filters to select only the information needed for specific goals), then you will process information easier, and reduce decision making process.

In other words, learning something about everything is more like it!

How Do you see yourself Learning everything

Maybe why majority of us have no reason to know it all could be because we’re guided by interest and purpose.

Read: If There Were To Be an End in Communication by Phone-Calls, Would it Matter?

They cut us back from culminating these different-world-scenarios’ information and trying to stay balanced with the knowledge of them all.

I read somewhere about a certain burnout from experiencing information overload from this jam-packed online world of knowledge of today. I think it’s just a funny way of saying that it’s wise to:

curate your learning experience and limit the information highway to some specific side streets and cul-de-sacs of your choosing.

For my person, the fatigue from trying to remember everything I’ve learnt is the burnout that they were referring to.

And what happens with other people too, is that they try to learn everything but end up learning nothing because their minds are diverted in everything. As such not present on that one specific thing.

Again, our stereotypical psychologist may say something along the lines of, “Being able to embrace not knowing is one of the most important, yet challenging aspects of life and growth. It allows us to be creative, open, and willing to live in a state of wonder and possibility”. Too deep.

In all of these learnings, if anything, this month taught me that competence is damn attractive. And competence can be easily achieved once you focus all mental and physical energy into an area of interest.

No need importing confusion by trying to know-it-all if you really cannot manage to.

Grab an interest, or a couple of interests, download all passion, materials and time into it. Then watch it grow, and see how you’d glow!

And to draw a little strength and mix from the para learning, focus on the current thing which you are learning and then switch to another after you’ve learnt it well.

If you can remember them all and apply most, maybe there’s nothing wrong in becoming a maestro afterall.

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