10 Things You Don’t Know

by Krantcents · 46 comments

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What you don’t know could fill books!  It takes years and maturity to realize what you don’t know.  I know because I have the (66 years old to be exact) years and maturity (just based on my age).  Seriously, figuring out what you don’t know is real important and it should happen sooner rather than later.  Did you figure it out yet?  No problem, I will give you ten things just to start you off.

If you think I am going to make a list of astrophysics, brain surgery or Chinese, you would be wrong!  It is much more mundane than that.  It is much more a series of everyday items you don’t bother to learn or find out.  Part of it is because you are not interested enough to find out and other things you think you know and you don’t.  Many of these things are just part of your day and you do it every day.

Ten Things You Don’t Know

Math – Many of my high school students hate math because they do not have math skills.  What they don’t realize is math is a huge part of your life.  I am not talking about counting your change at McDonald’s either.  Math skills affect your thinking!  Yes, arithmetic/computational skills is still a big part of it, but not all of it. Math skills also involve problem solving, decisions making, critical thinking, reasoning/logic and technology skills.  For those of you that are strong in math, you may be weak in other subjects which may impact your overall knowledge in different ways.

Soft Skills –What are soft skills?  Everyone concentrates on learning skills.  It may be a class in school or college.  Maybe it is learning how to ride a bike or invest in the stock market.  Important, but lack of soft skills will get you fired!  Why isn’t everyone learning them? There is no simple answer!  Here are just a few, (oral & written) communication skills, listening skills, negotiation skills, etiquette/manners, self management skills and teamwork/sociability skills.  In addition, Reliability, dependability, integrity, work ethic, positive attitude, self confidence, adaptability and responsibility/goal setting are some soft skills.

Food – Everybody eats and some even cook!  You can eat and cook everyday and still know very little about food.  There is so much information out there and some of it is controversial.  The French are so healthy with all the butter and fat they consume.  They say it is because of all the wine they consume.  I believe it is there smaller portions and a lot of physical activity.  There are so many different diets; it is enough to make your head spin.  I think it points out how little we really know about food!

Personal Finance – I have honed my skills for more than forty (40) years and I am still learning about personal finance.  When you think you know everything is when you are really in trouble.  Personal finance is not some static subject in history.  You can study it and learn everything and something changes or something new comes out.  For me, it is similar to law or medicine because it is a practice.  That is to perform an activity or exercise a skill to acquire, improve or maintain proficiency.

Love – This is a word we use very easily, such as I love you or I love my car, dog, cat, etc!  I am not talking about genuine emotion, but the word itself.  The genuine emotion is open to a lot of definitions too.  I remember asking my Dad about love when I was a young boy.  He told me I will know it when I feel it.  I think that points out how much I do not know about love.  The divorce rate may also indicate how little we know about love too.  I definitely know what love means to me, but does it work for everyone?

Women/Men – As a male, I realize how little I know about women despite all the time I have spent with them.  I don’t know, but I presume women feel the same way about men.  Let’s face it we are different and so are boys and girls.  As much as we want equality in pay and career opportunities, we are different!  I would rather appreciate the differences and work with them to make things better than just complain about the differences.

Mind – It has been a mystery to scientists forever!  Medical doctors are amazed how your mind can cure illnesses.  It may the power of positive thinking or spiritual reasons.  It is your belief in something that helps you overcome a physical illness.  There is more that we or doctors do not know about your mind and the healing processes.  Your mind can do many more things than you realize, but all it takes is using it to succeed.

Animals – I would love to know what my pet is thinking.  Particularly, when they do something wrong.  I often wonder what they do when I am not home.  I know they are sleeping until I get home.  Then they go to sleep after I get home.  Did you ever wonder what they are thinking?  Maybe, I am the only one!  I often wonder when a dog barks what they are saying.  Maybe he/she is saying hello or get me out of here.

Future – Remember those movies when you could go into the future.  I would love to do that.  It would be a great way to see how things turn out.  Did I do all the right or many of the right moves?  I know there are people who are pretty good at predictions, but they are never 100%.  Maybe this question comes from my desire of assessing my planning abilities.  I always want to know my score!  Just think if you knew the future for certain stocks, what would you do?

Self-Assessment – It is the process of looking at oneself in order to assess aspects that are important to one’s identity.  This is something all of us should do, but few of us do.  I see it as an opportunity to figure out your skills and knowledge and how you can achieve your goals.  It is the basis for improving yourself. I am not talking about education or training; instead it is improving your self-concept.

Final Thoughts

You may be a little surprised with my list!  You may feel you know a lot about these things.  It is my opinion that most people do not!  Not because they do not want to, but for various reasons do not learn about it. I spent a lifetime in various professional and personal roles asking a lot of questions.  I realize how little I know and I am reminded of it every day.  It is not a criticism, but something to either work on or dismiss.  I admit I am very curious!  It is one of the reasons I ask a lot of questions.  It is how I learn!  How do you find out what you don’t know?

Photo by:  kennymatic

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My Financial Independence Journey April 16, 2013 at 2:33 am

About the only things that I come close to knowing on that list are food and personal finance, and I’m still far from being an expert.

Krantcents April 16, 2013 at 6:53 am

Being much older, I am still learning after a lifetime of experience.

Greg@ClubThrifty April 16, 2013 at 4:32 am

Fun list! I think soft skills are very important life skills that people often forget about. You can be the most talented “xyz” in the world, but if you are a jerk nobody wants to work with you.

Oh…and thanks for challenging my math skills every day to prove I’m a human :)

Krantcents April 16, 2013 at 6:55 am

Hope it is not too challenging! Soft skills is something I work on every day and surprised how many people are challenged in this area.

TB at BlueCollarWorkman April 16, 2013 at 5:39 am

“I would rather appreciate the differences and work with them to make things better than just complain about the differences” — I agree man, I’ve been saying that for years. I do think everyone should have an equal opportunity, but “opportunity” doesn’t mean that the numbers of people in jobs have to equal. It just means everyone should get a chance if they want. I suspect that even with equal opportunity, there’d still be more firefighters that are dudes because dudes like that stuff more! Let’s makes things better with our differences, people!

Krantcents April 16, 2013 at 6:57 am

Equal opportunity may not mean equal pay. There are many careers where women participate, but are not paid similarly.

KC @ genxfinance April 16, 2013 at 5:47 am

I know that I only know too little. It’s like a glass of water compared to the ocean. But sometimes, I tend to forget about that fact. It’s amazing when you realize that there’s still so much that you need to understand.

Krantcents April 16, 2013 at 6:59 am

Knowing how little you know is important. The problem is with the people who think they know and don’t!

Jenny @ Frugal Guru Guide April 16, 2013 at 6:10 am

For me, it’s not so much that I don’t know X but that I don’t know ENOUGH about X….in which X is pretty much everything.

Krantcents April 16, 2013 at 7:01 am

We should all be lifelong learners particularly when you are doing these things.

Jacob@CashCowCouple April 16, 2013 at 7:41 am

Definitely a ton of stuff that I do not know. And definitely a ton more that I’ll never know. But regardless, gotta keep learning!

Krantcents April 16, 2013 at 9:42 am

Absolutely, understanding what you don’t know and learning about it is what is important/

Grayson @ Debt Roundup April 16, 2013 at 9:17 am

Great list. If you think you actually “know” these things then you need to get checked out. Very few really, truly know much. We try to get abreast to what is going on, but we may truly only understand the concept. Great post.

Krantcents April 16, 2013 at 9:43 am

Thanks, it reminds me of math. You are always solving for the unknown! You never know all the information when you have to make a decision.

Sicorra April 16, 2013 at 10:13 am

This is an amazing post KC!! Thank you!

I agree with everything you wrote about. I too would like to learn more about each point. I would really like to know what my cats are thinking or feeling. I would like to know more about love. I would like to know why people do the things they do and say the things they say. Sometimes I do something I or my husband will say out loud “why didn’t we do that sooner?”. The answer is simple. We didn’t know. No one should ever think they know all they need to know. There are always new things to learn and skills to develop.

Krantcents April 16, 2013 at 11:07 am

We are always learning! If you are not, you probably are dead.

Canadian Budget Binder April 16, 2013 at 5:32 pm

Great list to read. I think that with anything in life it all takes time and experience to learn. We may think we know all there is but just then something new graces us with it’s presence. I guess the message I took from this is to keep learning and experiencing life. Cheers mate

Krantcents April 16, 2013 at 5:43 pm

Thanks, I think just when you think you know everything, there is so much more to learn.

Kim@Eyesonthedollar April 16, 2013 at 7:29 pm

I could write a book about the things I don’t know or understand. Humanity for instance. It amazes me how two people can take the exact same situation and see it two different ways or come up with two different results. I guess that goes back to the mind. Thank God we are not all alike!

Krantcents April 17, 2013 at 6:53 am

If we were all alike, it would be pretty boring!

Joe Saul-Sehy April 17, 2013 at 5:35 am

You remind me of that line “the more you know the less you know.” The older I get the greater my understanding becomes that I know nothing and I’m humbled by it.

Krantcents April 17, 2013 at 6:54 am

I know just enough to ask questions! I think that is what is supposed to be.

Alan@escapingmydebt April 17, 2013 at 9:31 am

A lot of the topics you posted I would have said were things I know very well but I guess not so much when you look at it like that. Jack of all trades, master of none.

Krantcents April 17, 2013 at 9:33 am

Remember, you don’t have to be an expert to use the information effectively. In fact, I strive to be just a journeyman in that regard. I think it is more important to know what you don’t know anyway and find what you need.

Amanda L Grossman April 17, 2013 at 9:32 am

I am such a huge question-asker. Number One, because I am curious. But Number Two, because it is amazing what you can learn by showing someone that you are interested.

Krantcents April 17, 2013 at 9:43 am

I totally agree. I use questions all the time to start and continue conversations! I learn a lot from people and even from my own children through questions.

Brick By Brick Investing | Marvin April 17, 2013 at 9:43 am

I will certainly admit that I know very little about women =)

Krantcents April 17, 2013 at 9:45 am

I can say that I am married more than 44 years. I am sure many women can say the same about men too. I think it is what makes life interesting.

Matt from Saverocity April 17, 2013 at 8:35 pm

Do you know why you write? What are the reasons that motivate you (selfish, and selfless)?

Krantcents April 18, 2013 at 6:55 am

I want to influence others similar to my “2nd career” of teaching. I think it is selfless!

Little House April 18, 2013 at 7:00 am

I also realize that I know very little. But, I’m always trying to learn new things. That’s what I hope my students learn from my teaching; always strive to learn more. I know it gets through to some of them, but others, I’m not so sure. ;)

Krantcents April 18, 2013 at 7:02 am

It is one of the shortcomings of teaching. You may never know. I try to find out from as many as I can, but I know I won’t.

Rob @FinancialSprout April 19, 2013 at 10:18 am

I think that above math should be the English language! 90% of English speakers can not speak the language correctly, let alone write it. As far as math that is one thing I do know, but then again I am a total nerd. I totally understand how not knowing math can really effect peoples lives. When we did foster care we had children come into our home without a solid education; needless to say they could not count money or tell time, even at the age of 13! Some people can’t help but not know some of these things, because of a less than par education.

Krantcents April 19, 2013 at 10:40 am

I have high school students who cannot tell time on analog clock. One of the reasons the U.S. is slipping behind in graduating engineers is math. In education, we keep changing things and forgetting that we were better in SATs in the mid 1960s before a lot of changes occurred.

There is a lot we don’t know, for example reading, writing, speaking and information in general. A smart and secure person realizes they do not know a great deal and finds the information. I know that my language skills increases tremendously when I am around more articulate people.

Bobby @ Ban Excuses April 19, 2013 at 6:21 pm

I love lists like this one! Socrates once said, “The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.”

I personally try to not worry about things that I don’t have a direct influence over, like animals or the future. I have too many things to think about to concern myself with things that I can’t control.

Krantcents April 19, 2013 at 7:17 pm

I agree, however there are still even more things you don’t know or control.

KK @ Student Debt Survivor April 22, 2013 at 7:54 pm

So guilty of “math”. In fact I could barely post this comment because of your captcha ;-) In all seriousness, I had 4 math “teachers” my freshman year of high school and one of them had been to college (not that that really means anything, but the others couldn’t teach math). To this day I think my math skills are sub-par because of that experience (and because I’ve never taken it upon myself to learn more advanced math). My fault really.

Krantcents April 23, 2013 at 6:54 am

I think there are a lot of people in your boat! Most people get caught up with the numbers vs. the other skills mat h teaches you.

Buck Inspire April 23, 2013 at 11:46 pm

Excellent list KC! Looks like I’ve got a lot to learn. Funny, many people just jump on the latest trends and learn about the latest and greatest. However your list is probably the most critical, but sometimes overlooked. Is it because it is the most difficult to master?

Krantcents April 24, 2013 at 6:49 am

Thanks, recognizing what you don’t know is more important than what you do know.

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