Does Increasing your Knowledge through your Zettlekasten Spur you to Action?
I had an interesting conversation with a daughter yesterday, regarding how we each use our Zettelkasten. One of my main purposes is to capture life's learnings; one of hers is to prepare to take teacher training (she is an engineering physics graduate who, after some years of being a mother, wants to teach in high school). She has home-schooled her own children and mentored high school students in mathematics, chemistry and physics. She has teaching knowledge that she wants to write down and organize, and then add to - all great tasks for her ZK.
We talked about the practicality of our increased knowledge. It seems as we read, think and learn, we often have an "aha" moment when we recognize that we have learned something new and that it has value for our lives. That can be exhilarating and we can get quite excited about it. Some people might take note of the concept or they might write it down somewhere. Hopefully, because we are immersed in the Zettlekasten world, we are prompted to capture that new knowledge in our ZK.
My daughter observed, though, that we often do little more than capture the new idea. If it is captured in a Zettlekasten, then it may contribute to further thinking, connections, and ideas, but not go beyond that point. The question is - does all that learning spur us to take new action of value say to our family or friends or general community? And I don't mean, do we after 10 years of intense study get to the point where we can undertake some grand action (although that would be nice, like say inventing a non-polluting form of energy), but day by day, does our behaviour improve? Do we take action to improve the quality of the lives of those around us? Are we calmer and kinder? Are we more thoughtful and understanding of others? Are we more effective in building community or mentoring or encouraging?
In short, is our Zettlekasten just a cool place to hang out, to collect and organize knowledge, or is it a living, practical tool that prompts us to take action to improve ourselves and the lives of those around us?
What are your thoughts and experiences?
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