Allowing yourself to forget allows rediscovery and for new connections to be made in the future when you need to
February 3, 2021•278 words
Reading time: 1-2 min
Forgetting things and allowing yourself to rediscover them in the future is essential to generating inspiration, processing ideas and distilling the essence of information you are taking in.
There are case studies on people who have perfect memory, to the point of being able to recite books they read many years ago. This is not the solution to better thinking (as much as I want easily memorise the massive volume of information from studying pharmacy). The drawback of perfect memory is a poor ability to distill pure information into key ideas and a poor ability to make connections between ideas. Such a trait turns us into a machine, or further, a database. We lose our creativity and ability to focus and come up with new knowledge.
Instead, we should allow ourselves to forget things and delegate the task of holding information in our brains to our writing and note databases (or notebooks). In addition to not disappearing, this frees up your mind for actual thinking and processing, for your brain can forget but can think and process information while your notes never forget. Notes effectively eliminate this weakness in our brain and lay all the necessary information for knowledge generation in front of us.
By forgetting, unnecessary and unactionable information for your present self and situation won't clog up your memory. By properly linking notes to one another and entrenching an organised note taking system and workflow in your life, you can be sure that your future self will find what they need from your notes database when the right time and place comes along.
See other reasons for why I write everything down.