A to Z of Happiness: K - Knowledge #atozchallenge @AprilA2Z

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 an "intelligent species".

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 for 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, or a goal. 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. (Covered under 'M'). It leads to a sense of greater satisfaction, making us happier.

  2. Knowledge Helps Us Shape Our Destiny.

    Knowledge is power. Knowing our VALUES (covered under 'V') and PASSIONS (covered under 'P') helps us identify our goals. Knowledge, then, gets us closer to those 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 and OPTIMISM (covered under 'O') in life.

  4. Knowledge Improves Inter-Personal Relationships.

    Being knowledgeable about the world and the 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, their likes and dislikes... helps us interact better with them, leading to fewer conflicts. It enables us to ACCEPT them for who they are (covered under 'A'), and FORGIVE them (covered under 'F') for any mistakes. And lastly, 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 A to Z of Happiness.

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.

(Continued below sponsored content)

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Want to Add Something?

Cathy Graham said...

Great post on Knowledge, Chicky. It's good to keep learning and being open to new knowledge. But there is a thing as overdoing it. Sometimes I do think ignorance is bliss. Haha!

Anyhow, we're never too old to learn new things and broaden our horizons. I have made many mistakes over the years. How I wish I could go back with the knowledge and experience I have now and approach things differently. Oh well. C'est la vie!

cammies on the floor said...

I love these, especially having a purpose

Shirley Corder said...

Thanks for a good post. I see you turned your last A to Z Challenge into an eBook on blogging. Well done! I'm actually writing on Build a Better Blog this time round, and yes--I also plan on turning it into an e-Book! Great minds . . . K is for Kindle and KDP as you Build a Better Blog. #AtoZchallenge.

the little princess said...

Awesome. Yes, knowledge is never wasted. It does shape our destiny and helps us reach our goal. Very valid points.

Shubhangi @ The Little Princess

Anita said...

Yes indeed, Chicky. Knowledge makes life wonderful.
May all gather knowledge and implement it wisely.

Shilpa Garg said...

Well said. Knowledge is indeed power and is liberating and is the basis of progress. It certainly adds to our self esteem and positivity!

Emily Bloomquist said...

You are so right - not all knowledge is desired (I would prefer to be ignorant on some medical topics, as you note). With knowledge, you can expand horizons and converse on many topics.

Emily | My Life In Ecuador

Vinodini Iyer said...

Oh, I've made many of those blunders for not having some kind of knowledge. But well, that's how we learn things, right? And yes, it sure has opened several doors for me in time.

Menaka Bharathi said...

True Kadambari- knowledge is power and to hone it and expand it is what bring s in more strength to our power.
Launching SIM Organics This April

*Menaka Bharathi *


Suzy said...

You have 4 very valid points and well articulated but as for evolved beings ... from a pure consciousness level we are all equally evolved. When I look at plants I don't see them as a label we've applied but to me they are living entities with the same consciousness that humans possess. We could learn a lot from plants and animals. I had 2 dogs as pets when I was young and they understood and valued relationships a whole lot better than we do. I watched them frolic with young ones, gentle with babies and the old, on guard with strangers, respectful with adults. We should never be so arrogant to think that humans are more evolved. Your post triggered these thoughts today - thank you for that. I may find a letter in the AtoZ to post my thoughts.

Patricia said...

Knowledge is important and how we use it even more so. I like learning but there are some things I would just as soon be ignorant of and I would be quite happy in my ignorance.

Sreesha Divakaran said...

Very true. Especially the point about knowledge giving us a goal/purpose.

Meal to the Heart said...

That's very accurate tips. Indeed knowledge completely transforms and let us reach our goals
Interesting post, enjoyed a lot
Thanks for sharing
Dr Bushra
Do visit mineL for Live Fit with Healthy Diet for Pregnancy

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Chicky - I'm afraid I'm permanently curious for knowledge ... and I love knowing things ... rather wish I'd done more when I was younger - but I'm catching up now ... and we learn so much about all sorts of things - great K post ... cheers Hilary


Arlee Bird said...

I've made plenty of mistakes and missed opportunities due to lack of knowledge and misjudgment. But I've also applied old knowledge to take advantage of doors that were opened for me. I'm always striving to attain new knowledge, but unfortunately I often don't retain a lot of things I "learn".

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

Sanch Writes said...

You're so right about knowledge --- I think learning is a lifelong process and only if we keep gaining knowledge, we are always growing.

Sara C. Snider said...

Lucy was a great movie. Learning new things and gaining knowledge is definitely a source of happiness for me. Without it, it feels like one would stagnate, and that's no fun.

A to Z 2017: Magical and Medicinal Herbs

Amrita Basu Misra said...

Knowledge nd it's application changes life.Life is a continput learning journey

Chicky Kadambari said...

In some cases, ignorance IS a bliss, Cathy! For example, when we look up our health symptoms online, and then freak out imagining the worse! :P

Chicky Kadambari said...

Thank you, cammies on the floor :)

Chicky Kadambari said...

... think alike! Hahaha! :D Rightly said, Shirley! Hope to see your book after the series ends. All the best!

Chicky Kadambari said...

Thanks Princess! :)

Chicky Kadambari said...

"and implement it wisely"
That's a point well added, Anita! Thank you :)

Chicky Kadambari said...

It sure does, Shilpa! Thank you :)

Chicky Kadambari said...

Oh yes! Conversations come in abundance! Thank you, Emily :)

Chicky Kadambari said...

Same here, Vinodini. But as you said, it is a part of our learning curve! :D

Chicky Kadambari said...

Agree, Menaka. That should be our motto.

Chicky Kadambari said...

True, Suzy. From a pure consciousness level, we are all equal. Rather, we are all the same. I don't think that being more evolved should, in any way, translate to being more superior. Thank you for sharing your thoughts! Yes, I hope you find a letter for it. I'm enjoying your posts. :D

Chicky Kadambari said...

You're right, Patricia. How we use our knowledge is even more important. Thank you for stopping by :)

Chicky Kadambari said...

Glad you could relate to it, Sreesha! Happy AtoZing! :)

Chicky Kadambari said...

Thank you, Dr. Bushra! :)

Chicky Kadambari said...

Thanks Hilary! I'm also a late starter, I guess, but better late than never, right? :D
Cheers to you too!

Chicky Kadambari said...

Hello Arlee! I guess the important thing is we keep learning. Besides, we learn from our mistakes too, right?
Happy AtoZing!

Chicky Kadambari said...

It sure is, Sanch. I think I'll sink into a permanent depression if I stop learning!

Chicky Kadambari said...

True Sara. It would make me feel like I haven't done anything with my life!

Chicky Kadambari said...

It sure is, Amrita! Thank you :)

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