The More You Know, The Further You’ll Go

YOU MORE YOU KNOW, THE FURTHER YOU’LL GO

I LOVE this part of what I do, it’s at least in the top three aspects of social development that I love the most. Right behind meeting all the interesting people that I get to, and getting further along in my goals, learning things is number three, easily!

Learning as many different skills as possible became quite the obsession of mine for a while, and the best part of it was that I was doing it all on the side of my social development. So while I was learning all of that, I would bump into people who were interested in the same thing without my knowledge, and we’d suddenly have something to bond over, it’s pretty awesome!

So with that in mind, how else does being Knowledgeable help you? Beyond helping you in conversation, it can help you in your everyday life, there’s a theory that learning is the most important thing on the planet. That the more you know, the better in life you’ll do.

I’m more then inclined to agree, hence why I read anything and everything that I can get my hands on that catches my attention. Even if reading isn’t your best method of learning, there are many avenues of learning, what works for one person may not work for anyone else.

However it is that you learn best, they’ll open up new avenues for you, and all it takes is a little bit of effort on your part. The easiest place to start is easily the most recent topic that’s been caught on your brain. Whether it’s a topic, a hobby, or a subject, you’ll find that there are innumerable resources to begin your learning curve.

While I advocate reading to start, as you can find anything at your local libraries, there are plenty of places to start. Like you’ll find in this article, there are a ton of hobbies to look into, and your starting place is as simple as checking out a place such as meetup.com.

This is a website where you can join groups of just about any hobby you could possibly imagine. If it’s a topic or subject of some kind you can go to any book store, or library, or if you’d like some more formal training, you can attend classes on the subject. Or if you don’t quite want to spend the money or don’t have the means to, you can always check to see if they have a free class on the subject on coursera.com.

Coursera is one of the best resources to use, because it costs you nothing (unless of course you want a certificate, that’ll cost you). You can still speak to both the teacher and the other students (they have a forums section) and find that most are graduate level classes, so you know it’s an education that you won’t find anything else, as the website is funded by the best colleges across the face of the planet.

In terms of learning new things for social development, one of the obvious benefits is it shows your passions for new things, which is always a benefit. It also gives you the benefit of broadening your base of knowledge, broadening the subject base from which you can draw from, thereby giving you more subject to talk about. In essence you are building your outgoing database on the subjects that interest you will eventually make you an expert on those topics or skills to those around you.

Making you the go to individual people want to have around you because they want to have someone in that field to call upon if they need something explained to them. If that particular subject is relevant in their lives, some students studying for a subject will call upon people outside of their field, such as another student or someone in a local community that deals in the subject like an idiot savant or a mentor to help in their studies.

At another angle, dedicating sometime to being knowledgeable, studying subjects that you might not necessarily be…necessary in can give you perks at work. One such individual that I work under at the moment (In the graphic design department of my job) is actually a self-taught expert. He started out in machinery, but when he saw an chink in the company’s armor, he took it upon himself to learn how to do it so that they would have to outsource the work, and thereby make him more important to the company.

WHY DOES IT EVEN MATTER?

So why does being educated and choosing to be more knowledgeable even matter? I guess in the smallest view it really doesn’t matter, except for the fact that you won’t be progressing very far without learning and increasing your knowledge. After all, making the decision to become more social is a learning experience in itself right?

So if you just decide that you’re more social then you were yesterday, without anything to back it up, it won’t exactly do you much good, as you aren’t going out and figuring out how to do anything. You aren’t learning it, so then you aren’t going to get very far because your going to keep on hitting the same walls. Without the ability or desire to know how to get around them.

Which at it’s basic sense is essentially you just smacking your head against a wall for fun, which seems cool at first, but eventually your going to hurt yourself and that sucks. Without any drive or desire to learn how to possibly climb the wall, or if possible walk the hell around it. You’re going to eventually walk away from it, giving up, and going back to your comfort zone.

All it can do, is help you, that’s why it matters, you want to take a little bit of time (separate from the time you spend at work and school, and separate from the time you spend learning the socialization) and learn up on anything and everything you find interesting. Because it’ll allow you to progress in your passions, helps encourage motivation, and more then anything else, honestly gets you off the couch (though ironically, I’m currently typing this out on my couch, and simultaneously learning a little bit more on the style of real men, thank you Real Men Real Style).

What I mean by that, is that it pulls you away from your mindset of the societal routine, it drags you away from just zoning out into the television, and turns you into an actual human being, one with hobbies and ideas. One with a love for whatever it is your interested in, gives you something to put your extra time and energy into, because universe knows that far too many people have just allowed themselves to follow the routine that is quite frankly, uninteresting.

Your life shouldn’t exist inside of a television, you’re not going to find life in there, your life is in what you discover. Even if you develop a love for taxidermy and accounting, two things that are primarily solitary hobbies, I know without a doubt that you’ll find a community on taxidermy.

Many people who wish to have hunting prizes or beloved pets who’ve passed on stuffed that want to hire your abilities, and everyone on the planet is looking for an accountant. Me included, if anyone reading this actually does taxes, I’m awful at math, and would love to hire an accountant to do my taxes for me!

So, what matters here isn’t what you’re an expert at, what matters is that you have the desire and the drive to be an expert at something. Or if you have the desire, maybe several things.

People are constantly looking for people who know more, or at the least people who know different things so that they can broaden their own base of knowledge through what you can teach them! People want you to be an expert at something, not because they won’t talk to you otherwise, but because they like to see what your interested in.

Healthy, mature, well-developed people like to watch others progress, because it’s good to see others grow up, to become active curious people. They want to see you discover new things, and let them in on your discoveries. Because when it all comes down to it, we’re all in this together, so the more each of us knows, the further we can go together thanks to the collective knowledge that we posses.

I can’t tell you what to look up, that would make it moot, because you aren’t discovering what you love yourself. I can, however give you ideas, tell you what I’m into, and if you develop a love for the same things then awesome!

I’d love to hear your opinions, and what you know, because it’s easy to just tell people what to learn, but it isn’t effective unless your an expert. If someone wants to learn something that you know, then you can be the one to teach them, because you’re an expert!

TRADING SKILLS

One very good, very nice added benefit of becoming an expert at something, comes when you find someone who has a skill that you would love you learn yourself, someone who can take you under their wing. I currently have a standing offer with a friend, to have him teach me how to speak Arabic (which is a common language spoken in my part of the city I live in Hamtramck, MI, which is a small town cut out of Detroit, and the two biggest ethnicities in this area are Arabic).

In exchange for teaching him how to swim, we also have a standing agreement to help him with his English essays in exchange for him helping me out at the gym. I’m good at a handful of things, he’s an expert at many others, but each of us has skills that we’d like to learn.

I’ve never been one to just get something without some sort of compensation, and since I’m not rich, I trade labor for labor. I love this system, because everybody gets their fair share of stuff, and you guys can split up the labor and put it in the same time, meet up for two hours. In the process, you learn a little bit of what they’re trying to teach you, and vice-versa.

Trading skills in my eyes is much more useful then giving somebody money in terms of teaching. It gives you a sense of confidence because not only are they relying on you to teach them to the best of your abilities, but your asking them to do the same. It’s a vote of confidence, and it makes you stand up and give them your word, which while it increases the pressure, you still work to make it fun because it’s supposed to be a fun experience for everyone involved.

Plus when you trade skills with someone, it grants you the valuable opportunity to connect and spend time with your friends in a new light, showing off their passions, and revealing a personal side of themselves that they might not have shown you before. More then that, you too are revealing something of yourself, a passion to learn, the desire to be educated, and joy behind teaching others and bringing them into the community of the passion.

Alongside teaching them about the idea in question, you can introduce them to other members that you know of that work in the same field. Whether it be art, soccer, whatever, show people other opportunities to learn more. To be inspired, the more opportunities you give to someone, the higher the chance they’ll pursue it, and if your endgame is to grow the community (as it so often is when a community is in it’s fledgling stage) there’s no better way to do it.

When all is said and done, you’ve gained a new skill, they’ve gained a new skill, it’s a fair trade. You’ve made a good friend, or gotten closer with one that you’ve already made and your a little more knowledgeable then you were before, seems like a smart way to get to know someone doesn’t it?

EVERYONE CAN TEACH YOU SOMETHING

If you don’t intend on trading skills, the advice I feel the need to give you is that you should always be listening to the people around you, because everyone is an expert at something. Therefore, every person can teach you something.

People are sometimes unaware of the valuable treasure trove of knowledge they hold in their hand, but everybody is good at something. Every person at the very least has a trade, it could be engineering, art, carpentry, whatever.

So you can always pick up little tidbits of wisdom from people. What they do for a living is going to give them a viewpoint on the world, and even if it’s similar to yours, you’ll find that it’s never quite the same as yours.

Which means that chances are, they trade they have, the lifestyle they life, the people they know, what they’re past was like and the environment around them will give them little bright ideas on how life is can be. Personally, I like to write down every inspiring thing I read or hear from other people, whether it comes from an idea, a hobby, or a movie.

I try to get it on a sticky note, because people can be great sources of information. I’ve said this in the past, but everything I hear from anybody that I know generally becomes fodder for my stories.

I try to quote the people around me, or put quotes together from different people to build characters. It makes fiction writing easy, because I believe that we’re constantly influenced from our environment, and that taping into the world around us can push us forward in leaps and bound when it comes to just about anything.

For instance, I one time was having a difficult time with my car, the spark plugs were firing wrong. I couldn’t afford to take it into the shop at the time, and couldn’t figure out what was wrong from things I’d read online.

So I spoke with a high-lo mechanic contractor that sometimes comes to my factory to fix the machines. He advised me to take all the plugs out, and reapply them in one by one, so that’s exactly what I did. I ran out to my car, unscrewed the spark plugs, and screwed them back in numerical order, car worked like a charm after that as it turns out I had simply installed them wrong.

But it just goes to show you that while you may not have all the answers, sometimes those around you have the ability to fill in the blanks. More then that, maybe they can even advise you as to what to do next.

Like the time where I managed to break my catalytic converter, and had to have my uncle tell me what it is. Then have a mechanic weld the pieces back together!

The easiest way to look at it is like this in my mind. If your car breaks, and you don’t have the know how  to correct it, you take it to a mechanic. There, you can ask the mechanic how to fix it and if you can watch him to see how he does it.

So that if it happens again, you can fix it yourself granted you have the right equipment to do so. But I digress, gain the knowledge that can help, and gain the knowledge that you have access to, and most importantly, gain the knowledge on what interests you. Then spread the word! So My Question for you is…

WHAT ARE YOU AN EXPERT AT?

Over the next couple days, think about all the skills you have in your hand at the moment. Whether it’s baking a cake, or being able to list every element off the periodic table, fixing a car with one hand or even reading large literary texts and remembering them back to front  for college classes, anything that either catches your interest or helps you in your life.

Preventing you from just getting stuck, even if it’s stuff that you don’t know a huge amount on, but you know just enough of it so that you recognize it’s usefulness. Now what you do is write it down in a list.

After that, I want you to shore up your knowledge on what you do have. You don’t need to remember all of it, just make sure you knock the rust off the gears so that if someone has a question that you can answer easily, you won’t sit there trying to struggle coming up with an answer that you know you have.

After you have the list, I want you to make a separate list of ten things, hobbies, or subjects you’d like to become good at. After all, discovery is the spice of life, and we all need to progress ourselves.

Dedicate some time to learning or joining activities which you think you’d enjoy. Try to find free resources, classes, meet ups, or leagues, anything like that where you begin to research your new things. Go out there and learn, meet new people, and grow your knowledge base.

You’d be amazed how many people you’ll meet during this time. But make sure that it’s a separate period from when your learning to become social, after all, you don’t want to interfere with that.

While these can help you, you can even mark down learning social skills on that list of ten things you’ve got, and you don’t even have to work on all ten at once. That can be remarkably time consuming and difficult, and overwhelming yourself is an easy path to giving up!

Keep learning, so that when you look back on all the progress you’ve made, you can smile, and tell everyone around you about the fascinating things you’ve learned.

So once again, What are you an expert at?

Avidazen,

Stevenson Grey