Broadening your general knowledge comes with so many benefits. It allows you to see connections and patterns which would normally pass you by, inspires curiosity and interest in the world around you, and of course, makes you a lot more interesting for other people to talk to!
No matter what field of work or what stage of your life you’re in, expanding your general knowledge can help you become a better problem-solver, and even increase your empathy towards those around you as you become better at putting yourself in the shoes of others. Best of all, you don’t even need to leave the house to get started.
Play radio roulette
Click over to a world map, pick a country at random, and look up their most popular radio stations. Choose one, navigate over to their website, and give it a listen. Hearing about the weather, traffic, news and current affairs going on in a country you’ve never visited can instantly pick you up out of the narrow focus we all fall victim to during the routine of our daily lives. This is an especially nice exercise when you’re doing something a little tedious like household chores!
Try a TV program, documentary or series you’d never normally watch
Whatever your taste in entertainment, shaking things up a little and watching something completely different from your usual fare can be extremely enlightening. Whether it’s swapping out that action movie for a nature documentary, sampling a new cooking show or trying a film from a different country, you’re guaranteed to learn something unexpected. You might even discover a new passion or come to appreciate a whole new genre in the process.
Snuggle up with a book
If you’ve never been much of a bookworm, ask a friend or family member who is to recommend some of their favorite titles, and tuck in. If you come across an unfamiliar word or concept, look it up on your smartphone and add a little gem to your general knowledge pot. Because books allow you to get swept up in a story, they’ll always be one of the best ways to broaden your general knowledge, vocabulary, and communication skills without even trying. Sites like Bala Kudu Books are a great place to find recommendations on a wide array of subjects. Getting into the habit of reading before bed is also a good way to reduce your screen time in the evenings and help you sleep better! Try to sample books from different authors, eras, and genres.
Explore some edutainment websites and apps
There are dozens of great websites that can help you broaden your general knowledge while having fun and getting to know new people from all walks of life. The Daily Curiosity app (which allows you to learn five new things each day) and the TodayILearned SubReddit are two great places to start. If you’re the competitive type, taking general knowledge quizzes online and trying to improve your scores can be endlessly entertaining.
Read the news from a different country
While it might certainly feel like the world is getting smaller thanks to the web, few things remind you more that it’s still a very big place indeed than reading the headlines and stories from another country. Aside from expanding your knowledge of current affairs across the globe, dipping into what’s making headlines in an unfamiliar place gives you a glance into different cultures, religions, and languages. You might even discover a destination or experience to add to your bucket list!
Use your smartphone to augment your learning, not replace it
In many ways, we live in a truly magical age – with a world of knowledge quite literally at our fingertips. Many people are concerned that having such easy access to information means we’ll lose the need to really learn anything, simply looking up facts on demand. Of course, like any tool, the web and our smartphones are only as good as what we use them for – and far from replacing the need to learn, they can be invaluable in supplementing our learning.
By getting into the habit of using technology to expand your horizons, looking up unfamiliar concepts and checking out dubious-sounding “facts,” we become better-informed citizens of the world. And with global challenges like climate change and inequality to tackle, we need all brains on deck! You can do your part by nurturing your own curiosity and that of those around you whenever possible. Rest assured that the journey will be a fascinating one.