You Cannot Learn What You Think You Already Know

Welcome behind to Mid-Week Meditations, Lifehacker’s weekly drop into a pool of stoic wisdom, and how we can use a waters to simulate on and urge your life.

This week’s stoic quote comes from a Greek philosopher Epictetus, who was innate a worker and had his teachings created down by one of his pupils. Those papers would eventually turn his Discourses and Enchiridion.

“It is unfit for a male to learn what he thinks he already knows.” -Epictetus, Discourses, Book II, ch. 17

Another translation:


“What is a initial business of one who practices philosophy? To get absolved of self-conceit. For it is unfit for anyone to start to learn that that he thinks he already knows.” -Epictetus, Discourses, Book II, ch. 17

What It Means

Be it a skill, craft, or usually ubiquitous knowledge, to urge yourself is to learn. But we can't learn if we trust there is zero left for we to learn. What if what we know is usually one of many possibilities, and some are improved than others? What if what we know could be serve extended by what others know? What if what we know is indeed wrong?

If we do not uncover piety and proceed all things as an empty, peaceful vessel, we will not grow. Never assume that your mind is full, or that what we know overpowers what others know. After all, how could swell be done in any margin if everybody insincere they knew everything as shortly as they schooled something? It’s conceited and foolish, even for those who are during a tip of their field.

What to Take From It

No matter what we pursue in life, keep yourself inspired to learn. Choose to always have a beginner’s mind, constantly looking for another angle. Get gentle with being wrong, and penchant it when it happens. It’s fine to be wrong as prolonged as we make it a lesson. Don’t be fearful to ask questions and seem like an amateur. An open mind can be your biggest item if we let it.


We are realistic creatures who would like to assume we’re smarter or some-more able than others, though anticipating you’re higher creates we inferior. Ditch a ego and accept your place as an almighty student. Besides, nobody likes a know-it-all, and loyal “experts” are a ones who will acknowledge when they don’t know something. Why? Because they’d like to learn it.

You can review a entirety of Epictetus’ Discourses for giveaway here.

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Posted by on Jun 14 2017. Filed under Gadgets. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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