I don’t know

little boy shrugging I don't knowThere is enormous freedom in remembering how little we actually know.

It’s said that the human brain processes 11,000,000 bits of information per second but we are consciously aware of only about 50 bits per second. Isn’t that an incredible ratio? Eleven million bits of information, give or take, are being taken in and processed every single second, but only 50 out of those eleven million are known to us. The overwhelming majority of what is taken in, is filtered out.

How do you suppose our brain decides what to bring to life in consciousness and what to filter out and ignore? Since our brain is all about certainty and efficiency, it brings to life what is familiar and known. It favors information that supports it’s theories. Surprises are too risky and inconsistencies require too much energy to resolve.

In the name of certainty, our mind creates assumptions and expectations about the future. It tells us how life goes for “people like us”. It paints pictures of what life will look like “someday”, and we live in the narrow range of those stories whether we realize it or not.

“I don’t know” may be the wisest, most empowering thing we can “know”.

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