Do you know how many species of bees there are?

How do you not know that?

Anyone who has spent any amount of time with a child knows that they constantly ask questions. Studies carried out over the years suggest that they ask around 300 questions a day, trying to get to the bottom of why we die, why the sky is blue and what shadows are made of, and they aren’t satisfied with diversions. Oh no, they need an answer. I don’t know isn’t good enough.

Asking questions is how we learn about our purpose, our boundaries and what we might be able to expect as the consequences of our actions.

Now, we can accept from a child that they expect you to know. But why do we accept it from other adults?

There seems to be this assumption that when you get to a certain age, you should just automatically know everything. Who wrote that rule?

How can you possibly know everything?

Let’s say that all the knowledge you ever needed is contained in books. If you read one a day and lived to 100 years old, both of which can be quite a feat, you would have to read around 36,500 books in your life time. According to Google (other search engines are available), there are nearly 130m books that have been published.

130,000,000

That’s 3,562 times more books that you would need to read in your hundred years.

Even if we say that the overlap between books reduces that to half, you would still need to live to over 178,000 years old to get through them. That’s so incomprehensible they don’t even make up stories about immortal beings that have lived that long.

But not all knowledge is in books, is it? What about newspapers, magazines, vlogs, blogs, podcasts, tv programmes. Things that are happening now aren’t in books yet. How can we possibly know about everything that has happened, is happening or might happen?

And we can’t discount the knowledge we are expected to have about who wrote that book about a dystopian future, who composed that music about bees or who hung a shark in an art gallery.

Yet if we look at ourselves, we know that our own areas of specialist or even general knowledge are limited, simply because we don’t have an interest in those other things.

So why don’t we feel comfortable asking questions like we did as children?

We should not be made to feel less than because we don’t know the storyline to Jane Eyre, or don’t know who painted Sunflowers if these things are not in our realms of either interest or requirements.

More so, why should we devour newspapers, magazines and online articles just to know who is currently number one on the music charts, which Kardashian posed nude, or even who the Kardashians are.

If it doesn’t affect your life or doesn’t have an impact on the work you are doing, does it matter who the Prime Minister of Finland is?

Einstein once claimed he never memorised anything that could be looked up in two minutes or less. With the advent of the internet we really do have all of that information at our fingertips.

Use your time to support your goals and your life purpose. Those other things? Someone else is dealing with them. That’s their purpose.

So I say get curious. Ask questions and learn through conversation when necessary and at all other times when asked why you don’t know simply say: It isn’t one of my interests.

What do you feel pressure to know about?
Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Until next time, remember, if the excess baggage is weighing you down, you can always leave it in lost luggage.

Best wishes,

PS. Have you taken part in the poll yet? Find it in the sidebar or below this post or click here.

PPS. There are 25,000 species of bee.

I’d love to hear your story, so start a conversation on Facebook, catch up with me on Twitter and Instagram, or drop me an email via the contacts page.

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Ear Worm: I Don’t Know, Ozzy Osbourne


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