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References Part 2: You Only Know What You Know

Last week in my column, I wrote about references. I used a funny story of me as a young bride, trying to mow my father-in-law’s lawn with a power washer to illustrate the very real point that “we only know what we know”.  And what we know is solely based on the experiences that we have to refer back to…. Also known as our references.  Today I want to drive home the idea of expanding your references, so that you can live a life filled to the brim with MORE.

When I think of the word reference, I think of the Encyclopædia Britannica.

Remember the encyclopedia?? The OG Google? The encyclopedia contained everything, I suppose, that the authors thought we needed to know in life. It had a small amount of info on a lot of things.

If I wanted to learn about, let’s say, armadillos, I could pick up the “A” encyclopaedia and learn about armadillos. In fact, I could even write a whole paper AND get an excellent grade, based solely on what I found about armadillos in the encyclopaedia. After all,

it was the most trusted reference that we had at that time. I’d be able to tell you what armadillos look like, what they eat, how they mate, and probably a few quirky facts about them.

 Because back then, that amount of information was sufficient,

I might assume at that point that I know everything there is to know about armadillos, and be able to pull all kinds of armadillo facts out at cocktail parties to impress people. But suppose I showed up to a cocktail party, ready to spout off my 1992 encyclopedia armadillo facts and a gentleman popped up from 2019 with Google… Within 2 minutes, he would have 2,634% more information than me at the tip of his finger, solely because he had more references than I did.

Often times, we think we know everything there is to know about any given subject (including but not limited to, our supposed area of expertise) and so we allow ourselves to become complacent, instead of increasing our references by learning. Shore Locals,

you have no idea how powerful learning and growth is.

At no other time in history have we had so much information at our fingertips, ready for us to discover…for free! If you are not growing, you are dying. A friend of mine said “The grass isn’t greener on the other side, it is greener where you choose to water it.” How do you grow the most vibrant green grass? You commit to learning and to diving deeper into whatever it is that you are passionate about, and if you’re not passionate about anything, then you expand your references so you find something to be passionate about.

Are you a parent?  A business owner? A landscaper? A dog trainer? POTUS? It doesn’t matter who you are or what you are passionate about, if you commit to diving deeper into your craft, your business, your parenting, your relationships, etc… you will reach higher heights than you ever imagined.

 You only know what you know, but the flip side is that you DON’T know what you DON’T know.

That’s a scary thought. You could go through your entire life with a huge piece of information missing that could increase your business tenfold or help you get that promotion, or save your marriage, or live our best life. Want to know the worst part of that? That missing piece could be hidden in plain sight, waiting to be discovered within the pages of a book, a great podcast, simple internet research, or a conversation with someone who knows more (has more references to draw from) than you.

This week, I hope to inspire you to want to develop a love for learning. Increase your references, so you have google mind to draw from, instead of an encyclopaedia mind. Don’t let your desire for learning stop, simply because your an adult. Reach higher, go further. Drop the reality TV for a week and pick up a book about something you’re passionate about. I’d love it if you would share your success with me also on facebook! @christinasciarretta Until next time, Shore Locals, I am sending you peace, love, and good vibes!


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