There are discrete pieces of information, but how those pieces interact is also a separate kind of information.
If you know A, all you know is A. But if you learn B, now you know A, B, and AB.
It’s like ingredients. If you own bread, then you can eat bread. But if you get cheese, now you can have bread, cheese, or a cheese sandwich. You only gained one new thing, but the number of options increased by more than just one.
Now if you get some ham, you can have bread, cheese, ham, a cheese sandwich, a ham sandwich, or a ham-and-cheese roll-up (which is totally a thing, ask my kids) as two-ingredient options, AND you can have a ham-and-cheese sandwich as a three-ingredient option. So you went from one ingredient -> one option to three ingredients -> seven options.
I know I’m explaining a pretty elementary mathematical concept here, but that’s because people don’t necessarily realize the impact this has on their ability to explore the wonder of the world.
Think of yourself as one discrete data point. You know what you know. But if you open a real connection with another person, you not only know what you know, but now you also have access to what they know, and that in turn gives you both access to all the new information can come from combining those two sets.
And because you know (presumably) more than one thing, and so (presumably) does the other person, you’re really getting this compounded many times. Add in even one more person, and the sheer number of successful ideas can boggle the mind. Add in twenty more, and you’ll never run out of new ideas.
The best part about this, is that the other person doesn’t have to know that they can give you more ideas. They might not even know what you want to know. You might be A, they might be B, but what you want to know is in AB. That’s why you shouldn’t always try to seek out people in a very specific way. If you’re looking for a new job, you don’t have to only try to talk to people that have a job opening or know of one. Lots of different “info combos” can lead you to your next awesome thing.
Connecting to nearly any new person will do tremendous things for the level of information you have access to. Try it – and tell me what you learn!