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People Don't Know What You Know

It amazes me how fast I forget the struggles and effort I went through to learn something or gain a specific skill. As soon as I known something, I somehow take it for granted. And, from then on, I’ll assume that now that I know it, everybody else probably does too. If you have that same problem then remind yourself this:

Most people don’t know what you know.

Celebrate your newly acquired knowledge. Be proud of your effort and discipline. Share your knowledge with others. When you hear a conversation where it applies share it willingly and openly (I loathe the I-should-have-saids or I-should-have-dones that often plague my mind). Help others attain the same knowledge guiding them and pointing out the pitfalls and the things you struggled with while you were on the same path.

More importantly, don’t take yourself for granted. You have a unique story to share, because you have unique experiences, a unique life that has shaped you and a different character from everyone else’s. There’s only one of you in this universe.

This has some interesting corollaries (which is a fancy way to say a direct or natural consequence or result):

  • People don’t have your context. When communicating with others try to create a shared context and understanding where you can build upon and share your knowledge.
  • People can’t read your mind. I sometimes get irritated or frustrated with people because I assume or expect them to know things they don’t 1. This feels self-evident as I write it down but if I had a penny for how many times I’ve been frustrated by assumings (just coined a word) and misunderstandings I’d be setup for life.

  1. This happens a lot between my wife and me. :D