By Dr. Kresimir Jug
I truly hate the following quote:
"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell
Why do I hate it?
I hate it because most people (hopefully not you) think that it's true.
Most people today think that 'knowledge' is a healthy dose of skepticism applied to everything.
To be unsure and questioning, we are taught, is the hallmark of a scientific and educated mind, and doubt is considered a virtue.
So, you are probably wondering, what is wrong with that?
1. It's simply untrue. You know a lot.
The whole human race knows a lot. The reason that human beings were able to graduate from living in caves and hunting and gathering to living in cities with air conditioned grocery stores is because we learned things.
We can fly in aeroplanes because we KNOW about the laws of aerodynamics.
We have hydro and electricity because we KNOW about the laws of electromagnetism.
I know these examples are big massive things...but you, personally, already know how to make your own life better...
Without even a hesitation in thought, you could name at least 3-5 things right now that you know, without a shadow of a doubt, that if you started doing them your life would be better.
Don't confuse knowledge with omniscience.
Just because you know somethings doesn't mean you know everything. And you don't have to know everything.
The reason that knowledge is important is because life, at least in order to be successful, requires action.
If you sit around and do nothing, you will live a horrible life.
So the main reason that this idea of 'not knowing anything' is harming your life, if you accept it, is because you will ALWAYS question whether or not you are doing the 'right' thing.
Am I with the right person? How do if know, if I can't be certain of anything?
Should I follow my dream, what if I fail? How do I know if I can't be certain of anything?
What should I eat to stay healthy? How do I know if I can't be certain of anything?
I could apply this reasoning to all 7 billion questions you ask yourself every day...and if you DID apply this reasoning, you would not be in a very happy place. You wouldn't be sure of anything...
And you wouldn't be willing to take decisive action on anything.
Remember that personal growth, success, eating, losing weight, find the right partner (Heck, ALL OF LIFE) requires action.
You will not know the answer to everything so try your best to do and act using as much of your knowledge as possible.
But please don't ever for a second doubt that nothing is knowable.
2. The statement just doesn't make sense...
Read the statement "Knowing is impossible."
Well if knowing is impossible how does that person know that?
It's like saying "I know that I can't know."
You can't use knowledge to disprove knowledge.
This is what is called a contradiction...and contradictions can't exist in the real world. You can, however, hold ideas (most people do) that are contradictions...
**A classic contradiction is: "You can have your cake and eat it too."
This is obviously impossible either you ate the cake or it's still sitting there on the plate...both are not possible.
Which unfortunately negatively impacts your thinking and life in a negative way.
So, what should you do?
1. Keep an active mind.
I've never liked the term 'open mind.' It means that your mind should accept anything and everything you hear or see.
You would never put poison into your body, make sure you are even more diligent with your mind. Learn to recognise contradictions and bad ideas and don't let them into your mind for a second.
2. Be honest not humble.
If you are really good at something there is nothing wrong with admitting it. In fact, it's helpful for other people to hear you say, with confidence, that you are good at something. It also helps you build your self-esteem.
The same thing is EVEN MORE true with knowledge. If you have it then say so. If you know something is true or right, stand up for it.
3. Teach your children this lesson.
How do you want your child to grow up?
As a confident, successful person who is sure of themselves and honest about their ability or someone who is paralysed by self-doubt and has anxiety and uncertainty about every decision, they have to make.
Please teach them that knowledge is possible and that a happy and incredible life depends on them knowing that.