Similar to the “Dunning–Kruger effect” (a cognitive bias in which people of low ability have illusory superiority and mistakenly assess their cognitive ability as greater than it is) the ‘I know that syndrome’ is very damaging both on our progress and on our relationships!
How do you feel when you are talking with a friend and excited about what you are saying only to cut off with, “oh yeah, I already know that”?
Have you ever considered the effect this may have on your progress? If you keep partially lying to yourself that “you know that,” it can keep you from moving forward and taking action. Knowledge on its own is useless. It is the application of knowledge that will take your life to the next level!
I often get annoyed during a conversation and respond with, “OK you know that but have you actually tried it?” People who eat junk everyday know that they need to eat more healthy, but don’t do it! Or, people who attend a seminar and react with, “I know that, I’ve heard it before, this is not original”. Ok Mr. Know it all, have you applied even a 10th of the knowledge you possess?
Here is an extract from my book :“How to pass exams: The cool way. A short guide through personal development”which explains how to keep an open mind and receive new ideas easier:
“…While travelling to Cambodia and Thailand in December 2015, I came across several Buddhist monks. During a 3-day silent meditation retreat in Koh Samui (the silence was applicable to everybody except the monks), I heard a story from a monk. It indicates exactly how to practise and actually enjoy having an open mind. It went something like this:
“You are thinking of trying out a cup of tea for the first time. Although you are considered a coffee person, you are open to this suggestion. If you take your cup which still has some coffee left in it and pour tea on top, the flavour will become mixed and you will not be able to enjoy the new cup of tea. Even if you empty it completely, you will still have the odour of coffee while drinking tea, thus not being able to enjoy the new experience fully. What you should do is:
- Empty your cup completely
- Clean it with soap until the odour and last coffee drops are nowhere to be found and,
- Enjoy the cup of tea, taste and smell it for what it is and live the new experience to the fullest.”
Similarly to the “tea story”, we need to clean our minds and empty our cups whenever we engage in conversations or when reading new books. This will allow us to receive the new information, guidance, ideas, or mentoring with an open mind and no preconditions or the common, “I already know that” syndrome.
Even if you think you know what the other person is going to say, let them say it and receive it with an open mind. Perhaps their experience may give you a new perspective on the topic. And why not use all the cutting edges to get closer to personal achievements?”
“Unless your name is Google, stop acting like you know everything”. And if you do know, then put it to good use!