A lot of people assume they know best about everything in their world. It comes natural to us. I definitely used to fall into this category in my life.
A few years ago I changed career paths into Information Technology Consulting and my world view changed abruptly. The cool thing about being an IT consultant is, there is always someone better, smarter, more experienced or more knowledgeable than you in any given area. Like life in general, there are simply too many subject areas to cover to be a master of all, if even a single matter.
I know a lot of people who haven’t been lucky enough to get ‘hit in the mouth’ with the realization of just how… how do I put it lightly…. Inexperienced they are. When I say ‘hit in the mouth’ in quotations like that, I refer to being enlightened somewhat shockingly or embarrassingly very suddenly.
Woodstock- the smartest little birdy in the room.
My five year old loves Charlie Brown. Maybe it’s the simple, comical tension between Charlie, Lucy and the other characters, the badass jazz soundtrack, or perhaps the fact that the story lines feel eerily comforting to her. Those are all the reasons I love Charlie Brown.
We were watching Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving special this past turkey day for about the 8th time when my father in law said to my daughter, “I think Woodstock might be the smartest of them all, sweetie”.
He has a point. Woodstock typically doesn’t have much to say. Just a scrappy little bird who can take a good joke, but isn’t afraid to stand up for himself if need be, content to flapping around, observing, and always being a part of the action but still remaining more on the outside looking in.
What if we were all a little more like Woodstock? What is we listened more than we spoke and observed more? How much could we grow as individuals?
Getting to the Point
To be frank, we should all realize we’re insufficient or inexperienced one way or the other. Just as soon as you start to think you know a little something about anything, it is probably time to wipe away part of the slate and re-evaluate.
One of my biggest challenges was learning to remove bias from my train of thought. My way is not always, and is almost never the best. So I’m always looking for someone else to show me a better way. When it starts getting harder and harder to find someone else to look up to or learn from, that is when you know you’re on to something.
Here’s a quick, top 10 list of things I once thought I was pretty damn smart about, that I was proven to actually know shit about:
- Relationships and Marriage
- Information Technology
- Professional and Interpersonal Behavior
- Economics, Investing and Business
- Human Nature and Morality
- God and Religion
- Personal Finance and Saving for Retirement
What does your list look like?