When I was younger, let’s say in my teens and mid-twenties, I had a desire to pack my brain with a lot of knowledge. If somehow we could travel back in time, you will mostly find me at either the city’s public library or at the school’s library, sitting legs crossed on the floor trying to assimilate knowledge from books (we didn’t have Internet at home in the early 90s). But not any kind of knowledge. I mostly wanted to know everything about what interested me, what ticked my curiosity, what made me wonder about our world and our universe. And the more I understood a few things and learned some other things, I realized that I didn’t really understood everything. Sometimes, I would grasp about a third or half of what I desired to learn. However, because I was learning something that fascinated me, learning about it was easier than when it was imposed on me. That being said, I believe that we quickly assimilate things that we are passionate about. Now if only I was passionate about the subject of thermodynamics back in my physics class at university…but I digress.
I was okay “not knowing everything” about everything. This didn’t come easy. I had to somehow “force” myself to accept that I won’t know everything. Ever. And the reason I was content was mostly because I didn’t need to know everything. I just needed to know enough to either get my work done, participate in a good conversation with someone about the topic, or simply to satisfy my curiosity enough that if I wanted to go deeper in the subject, I could try to find an expert to complete the part belonging to the “I don’t know that I don’t know” of the subject. And I also made the decision that I wouldn’t stress myself or get angry about now fully understanding something because I didn’t want to negatively or permanently affect my joy of learning.