How did you go about acquiring in-depth knowledge?

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I seem to have this big problem – I keep getting overwhelmed by what I don't know.

I think I know my way around a lot of things in Linux. But then again, I have this feeling that my knowledge is superficial. I keep forgetting things and need to reread a lot of material every time I take a brake from a subject. Refresh my mind, if you will. It really bugs me because I feel like I have to work 10x as hard as other people do just to keep up.

For example I wanted to know more about WiFi protocols so that I know what's happening when I use the aircrack-ng package. I started reading a book on 802.11 protocols and it went good for a while but suddenly I got lost. There's so much to know. So many acronyms. And then I tried to spend time doing stuff and yeah, I made some progress but now all of the new acronyms left my head. And even if I became an expert on radio protocols there's a whole new world when it comes to hashes, digests, key derivation functions… Gosh… I'm already overwhelmed even thinking about this.

But I really want to know these things. I spend days on just reading and reading, finding new books. But a man can read only so much. It seems like I would have to make it a full time job – maybe even two!

Sometimes I think maybe it's just not for me. It feels like I'm crawling while others are speedrunning next to me.

I know how to do things regular people can't. I know how to use LUKS to encrypt my laptop to achieve plausible deniability. I wrote python scripts to scrap sites with API that I had to reverse engineer myself. I wrote code to process images using ARM Neon when nobody in my company even knew what it was. I have some knowledge but I always think its not enough.

One last thing – I used to love coding. But when I download source for a package and I start reading it (lately I tried to patch grub and understand what's going on in hostapd) my mind is really giving up – it would take me months to get this wrapped around my head.

Is this because I'm getting older? I'm still under 40. How do you guys do it? Sometimes your posts are so inspiring and I feel so… stupid. So slow. I don't want to give up but maybe I should. But then again I'm not interested in much else.

Do you have any advice for me? A methodology of sorts? How do I stop getting overwhelmed?

submitted by /u/ClicheChe
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