What makes us humans different from the rest of the animal kingdom? What makes us more "evolved"? It is our ability to process and store knowledge, and to use it not just to survive, but to thrive. The rest of the animal kingdom adapts or goes extinct, but we have the ability to think and innovate. This applied "knowledge" is what makes us superior.
Seeking knowledge is intrinsic to human nature. Knowledge about our world, knowledge about how things work, even knowledge about ourselves and our very existence! (Of course, there are some things you're better off remaining ignorant about. For example, knowledge of what it's like to have kidney infection or UTI!)
According to some schools of thought, acquiring knowledge could perhaps be the only reason of our existence. We are born, we learn things, we pass on our knowledge to the next generation, and then we die. Remember the movie Lucy?
How does pursuit of knowledge lead to happiness then?
4 Ways In Which Knowledge Leads To Happiness
1. Pursuit of Knowledge Gives Us A Goal.
Pursuit, of anything, gives us a sense of purpose. When we go after our "goals", it activates the "seeking" neurological structures in our body, which in turn generate Dopamine - a chemical, responsible for increased alertness, focus and concentration. And doing something with all our concentration creates a state of MINDFULNESS (will be covered under 'M'). It leads to a sense of greater satisfaction, making us happier.
2. Knowledge Helps Us Shape Our Destiny.
Knowledge is power. It gets us closer to our goals. Whatever we want to achieve in life, we need to take constant steps in that direction. And knowledge gives us the power to decide what steps to take. Our life is the sum total of the outcomes of our decisions. And "informed decisions" can influence those outcomes towards a course that makes us happier. A very small example... if I KNOW that kids will come looking for friendship bands at my shop, in the first week of August, I can plan ahead and stock them in time. Satisfied customers, AND more sales for me! That is the power of knowledge.
3. Expansion of Knowledge Increases Our Self Confidence.
Snyder's HOPE postulates (covered under 'H') included creating "pathways". Multiple routes to reach our goals. Keeping an open mind and always pushing our self to learn new skills and new things, ensures the creation of those multiple channels. Knowing that we have more than one way of achieving our dreams, makes us more confident of our own abilities, and increases our self esteem.
4. Knowledge Improves Inter-Personal Relationships.
Being knowledgeable about the world and things around us gives us something to talk about with strangers. Makes it easier to engage with others. Whether it is at work, or during "solo" train journeys. Having knowledge about the people around us... what motivates them, what shaped them in the past... helps us interact better with them. Leads to fewer conflicts. And knowledge about our self makes us aware of our "buttons", so that we can avoid reacting when they're pushed.
Without knowledge, we cannot progress in life. And without progress, there can never be happiness. But sometimes, too much knowledge can also seem overwhelming. For example, if I had known ten years ago that blogging would require such a lot of work, I might not have started it. But then I would have missed out on a secondary source of income. And some lovely friends.
So maybe not "all" knowledge is right for "all" of us. And maybe not "all" of it is right at "all" times. But knowing the "what" and "when" requires more knowledge. Ignorance, then, is not bliss... it is chaos. We need knowledge to be happy in life, but we also need the knowledge of "selection" of that knowledge.
Have you ever made a mistake in life, because you didn't "know better" at that time? Have you ever missed any opportunity in life because you didn't have the required knowledge for it then? Did an unexpected "door" ever open up for you because of some knowledge you acquired years ago but never thought you'd use?
This is my 11th post for AtoZ2017.
I have completed this challenge once before, and published it as a kindle ebook.
You can get it on amazon: A to Z of Blogging: Take Your Blog To the Next Level.
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