‘You have probably heard the saying, ‘You learn something new every day.’ a bazillion times. It’s a great reminder that there is always new knowledge to be gained. In theory, this also means we get a little smarter every day. But if that were true you would also know how many zeros are in a bazillion by now.
Smarter is a relevant term. We become smarter based on the ratio of things we know compared to the things we don’t know.
A funny thing happens when you learn something new. You also realize how much more there is that you don’t know that you hadn’t realized before. This means the more you know, the more there is that you don’t know. Which is what Yoda and the dude in The Matrix were trying to teach us.
Whether you are accumulating knowledge related to your career, parenting, a hobby, sport, or specialized skill, consider your knowledge ratio. It is akin to comparing yourself to those further developed than you, rather than those you have already surpassed. (Which is a Judy Bloom mindset.)
You will quickly realize that the more you know, the more there is to know. That acknowledgment of the mounting body of unknown is one of the most powerful drivers of growth and self-improvement.
As you grow and learn, enjoy your newfound knowledge. But more importantly, profit from understanding how much more there is that you don’t know. It will help you maintain a growth mindset. You will learn more from the perspective and experience of others. You will operate more creatively. More empathetically. And ultimately, through acknowledging your own relative ignorance, you become more intelligent. At least I think so.
*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.