The Surprising Benefits of Forgetting and Unconventional Lessons for Life, Money, and Success


Hatched by Glasp

Sep 17, 2023

3 min read


The Surprising Benefits of Forgetting and Unconventional Lessons for Life, Money, and Success


In our fast-paced world, where information overload is the norm, the ability to remember and forget plays a crucial role in our lives. Surprisingly, forgetting can actually be beneficial. It allows us to generalize, abstract, and filter information, leading to enhanced creativity and better decision-making. In this article, we will explore the surprising benefits of forgetting, delve into the mechanics of memory in our brains, and also discuss unconventional lessons about life, money, and success.

The Mechanics of Memory and Forgetting:

Our memories are distributed across various regions of the brain, but there are three central hubs dedicated to the management of memory. The hippocampus, nestled deep in our brains, is responsible for saving information into a hard drive. The prefrontal cortex, behind our foreheads, handles the retrieval of memories. The hard drive, located at the top of the skull, stores most of our memories. When we remember something, the connections between neurons strengthen, while forgetting occurs when those connections weaken. Interestingly, both remembering and forgetting primarily occur in the posterior area of the brain.

The Importance of Forgetting for Generalization and Sorting Information:

Our cognitive abilities heavily rely on our capacity to generalize and sort information. Imagine if everything in life was novel, even the people we know and the places we live. It would lead to a constant state of anxiety. Forgetting allows us to filter out unnecessary details and focus on what's truly important. It enables us to categorize information, make connections, and abstract concepts. While it may seem counterintuitive, forgetting is a fundamental aspect of our ability to generalize and sort information effectively.

The Emotional Benefits of Forgetting:

Forgetting is not only crucial for cognitive processes but also for emotional well-being. Dwelling too much on emotional memories can be disabling. It is necessary to turn down and let go of the emotional component of memories to move forward. Behavioral approaches, such as socializing after a trauma, can accelerate emotional forgetting. Exposure therapy, which taps into our forgetting mechanism, helps rebalance memory associations. Normal forgetting at the molecular level is essential to prevent emotional memories from consuming us.

The Surprising Connection Between Forgetting and Creativity:

Studies have shown that most creative individuals tend to function best in the morning. This is because the ability to create unexpected associations requires forgetting. If our memories were rigid and inflexible, without the ability to forget, we wouldn't experience those eureka moments that define creativity. Forgetting allows for the looseness and playfulness necessary for creative thinking. Sharing experiences and perspectives also enhances creativity by bringing in new ideas and insights.

Unconventional Lessons about Life, Money, and Success:

  • 1. Don't wait to be happy: Happiness should not be dependent on external factors. It is something we must intentionally carve out for ourselves.
  • 2. Money isn't everything: While money is important, it should not be the sole measure of success or happiness.
  • 3. Kindness trumps intelligence: Being kind and compassionate is more important than being intelligent. It has a greater impact on our relationships and overall well-being.


In conclusion, the surprising benefits of forgetting cannot be overlooked. Forgetting allows us to generalize, sort information, and make better decisions. It fosters creativity and emotional well-being. Furthermore, unconventional lessons about life, money, and success remind us to prioritize happiness, kindness, and personal growth over materialistic pursuits. Embracing these principles can lead to a more fulfilling and successful life. Remember, forgetting is not a weakness but a strength that helps us navigate the complexities of the human experience.

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