The 8 Saboteurs Of Mighty Things: #5 I don’t know
You are meant to have an optimal life, one that's happy, successful, abundant and of great contribution. My mission is to help you achieve that.
Think of the last time you were paralyzed by not knowing how to do what you wanted to do.
Many people don’t open their dream business because they don’t know how. Many people remain overweight for the same reason. Unwritten manuscripts stay locked in the imagination of the author for the very same reason.
Think about it. Did Edison know how to build the light bulb? Did Edison know in advance how the phonograph and the motion picture camera would work? His ignorance is what drove him and what made him successful. Edison accumulated 1,093 patents from his inventions.
Granted, the process from ignorance to innovation was a long one. He had to try time and time again before he even saw results. The authorized biography by Frank Dyer and T. C. Martin, Edison: His Life and Inventions (the first edition of the book is 1910), quotes Edison's friend and associate Walter S. Mallory:
"This [the research] had been going on more than five months, seven days a week, when I was called down to the laboratory to see him [Edison]. I found him at a bench about three feet wide and twelve feet long, on which there were hundreds of little test cells that had been made up by his corps of chemists and experimenters. I then learned that he had thus made over nine thousand experiments in trying to devise this new type of storage battery, but had not produced a single thing that promised to solve the question. In view of this immense amount of thought and labor, my sympathy got the better of my judgment, and I said: 'Isn't it a shame that with the tremendous amount of work you have done you haven't been able to get any results?' Edison turned on me like a flash, and with a smile replied: 'Results! Why, man, I have gotten lots of results! I know several thousand things that won't work!'"
Ignorance coupled with paralysis leads to dead dreams. Ignorance coupled with curiosity leads to greatness.
Now think of my patron saint, Leonardo Da Vinci. He was also ignorant. To counter his ignorance he asked questions. He was a question machine generator of sorts. Wonder was the one habit that made his life a masterpiece. He asked why the sky is blue, why birds fly, why we see, why it rains… His curiosity was infinite. Any partial answer to any of his questions generated a myriad of new questions.
His “ignorance” made him one of the wisest men who has ever lived. He mastered subjects in the realm of physics, chemistry, optics, medicine, warfare, urbanism, and astronomy, to name a few. His ideas evolved in a wide range of today’s technologies, for instance the submarine, the automobile, the airplane, the helicopter, the parachute, the revolving bridge, the machine gun, robots, scuba gear, and the war tank.
Curiosity pays off
The recipe to combat not knowing is very simple; we just need to think and act like the masters Edison and Leonardo.
We need to fall in love with the struggle of not knowing. Learning gives you more life. If you are not learning, you are not growing. When you stop growing, you are dying.
Stop flagellating yourself for not knowing. No one knows it all. That includes Edison and Leonardo. They also didn’t know. They not only developed peace with their own ignorance, but they enjoyed figuring it all out. They made curiosity their pride and joy.
You don’t know it all. Becoming conscious of your own ignorance makes you stronger. Now you can look for answers that others cannot even imagine. So instead of feeding your frustration, start asking questions. Get curious.
You want to set up a business and don’t know how. Accept that you don’t know. Be at peace with your ignorance. Love it. Make a brain dump of all the things you don’t know, such as:
- What does the local law stipulate for new business owners?
- What do tax authorities require for new business owners?
- Do I need to trademark my company name?
- What kind of insurance do I need?
- How much money do I need to run this kind of business?
I bet you are not the first entrepreneur in your city. You are not the first person with these questions. There are many resources where you can look to find this type of information. Ask. Research. Study. Look for mentors and role models.
Make your life a constant quest for knowledge, insight, perspective, and wisdom. Flip it. Change your “not-knowing” into the fuel that will move you to figure it out. This could be the force that will make your life a masterpiece.
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Do you want to do something magnificent with your one and precious life?
Now, I would love to hear from you.
I would love to hear your wisdom.
Does your ignorance paralyze you or motivates you?
How do you jump into action?
Please, share your wisdom directly in the comments below. Let's start a wave of vibrancy, excitement, enthusiasm for life. Let's live fully!
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