What is general knowledge?

What is general knowledge? And why is it something we should invest our time and efforts in?

 climbing the mountain of knowledge

The Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus would define general knowledge as “information on many different subjects that you collect gradually, from reading, television, etc., rather than detailed information on subjects that you have studied formally.”


In essence, bits and pieces of general knowledge surround us as we go about our day-to-day lives, and we are naturally prone to absorbing this knowledge. These are not the things we learn in school and get a degree for, but this is what we absorb from our surroundings – from the most random pieces of information to the ones that we can use for important moments.


The uses and benefits of general knowledge


More than just winning one trivia night after another or impressing the girl next door, general knowledge has some actual uses that contribute to making life better. To better understand what general knowledge is exactly, here are some of its most important uses:


  • Adds some spice to conversations

When one is well-versed with general knowledge, no conversation becomes too dull. General knowledge helps you navigate through complicated social situations because then, you’ll always have something to talk about. No matter who you find yourself with, having a good grasp of general knowledge will provide you with enough material.


  • Makes you more impressive as a public speaker

If you always find yourself in situations wherein you have to address large crowds, having general knowledge makes you more impressive. You can always speak about your specialization, but general knowledge gives you a roster of anecdotes, tidbits, and even jokes that will make you sound more interesting. It also helps you adapt to the context of any crowd and think about certain sensitivities.


  • Develops your interpersonal skills

General knowledge allows you to be more at ease in social situations, and thus it helps you interact with people better. When your general knowledge is updated, your interactions with people of different cultures and backgrounds become richer, and this does more wonders for your interpersonal skills than any other training could.


How to build up your general knowledge


General knowledge is clearly important, but just like the things we learn in school, we need to keep finding ways to enhance and build up this knowledge. Here are ways on how we can make sure that our general knowledge is updated:


  • Read a lot of varied material

When you read, you stimulate your imagination. Your brain cells come alive. Reading has always been an important aspect of gaining knowledge, especially at a time when technology makes everything so accessible.


Building up the habit of reading is important, but you should also pay attention to the variety of the material that you read. What this essentially means is that you can read the newspaper daily, but you can also read entertainment magazines, scientific journals, online blogs, recipe books, and even the old fashioned pages of a book. Reading through varied material ensures that your knowledge is up to date and comprehensive.


  • Test your knowledge

Knowledge is stored up in some part of the brain when you read it, but when you test it, it gets cemented there. This is why we have quizzes in school, and why our teachers invested so much time in helping us “master” these facts. You can put your knowledge to a test by joining pub quizzes, where you can also learn new facts. You can also do crossword puzzles and other games that stimulate the mind.


  • Immerse yourself in different experiences

Experiencing something for yourself helps you learn something better. This study proves that learning by doing is the way to go, so if you want to improve your understanding of general knowledge them immerse yourself in it. Travel. Go on a deep sea dive. Smell the flowers. Visit a winery. Hike up the mountains. There are so many aspects of general knowledge that you can learn and that will stick with you for a long time if you do it through experience.


Now that you know the answer to the question “What is general knowledge?” and how important it is, it’s up to you to ensure you have it.