.”Will this relationship workout?”
“Will I ever get rid of this excess weight?”
“Will my daughter ever get married?”
“Will my son crack IITJEE atleast this year?”
“Will she say ‘yes’ to me?”
“Will this start up idea workout?
“Will Sensex hit 30,000 in 5 years?”
“Will he/she win the Elections?”
The One Answer:
We often ask ourselves and others these questions and become economic pundits, relationship guru’s, Movie Critics, Venture Capitalists and most of all astrologers and dole out our verdict of what will work out and not work out. But inspite of our motivations, intentions and efforts the only true answer for all of the above questions is a big and vehement
“I dont know”
No matter how much you pretend, you don’t know either…no one does.
Action with Partial Knowledge:
We will never know everything that needs to be known. But that does not mean you should not take action to create your future. Take action based on the available information.
Inspite of not knowing that if the relationship may work or not, you may and should give your 100% to it when you are in the relationship.
Inspite of not knowing whether your business will succeed or not, you should do all that needs to be done to create the success you desire.
Inspite of not knowing whether sensex will hit 30,000 or not you have to make educated guesses on where to invest your money and how much.
Inspite of not knowing whether the book or movie will be worth your time or not, you have to make an educated guess based on reviews, story line, author/director etc.
Inaction and Indecision:
Know that not taking a decision is also a decision and not taking an action is also an action by itself.
What does ‘I dont know’ make possible:
Acknowledging absence of knowledge makes many things possible.
Avoid small talk in circle of concern:
By acknowledging that I do not know, I have successfully got myself out of endless loop of arguments of people with prejudiced views who believe by sheer will and logic they can create the reality. Nothing is more illogical than the truth. How often we have seen underdogs emerge out of nowhere and win and the favorites disappear into oblivion.
By acknowledging that I dont know all possible outcomes of an outcome of an action/event, helps me prepare better when I may be impacted by it, like the safety boats, back up drives, savings, insurance etc. We can hope for the best, but we have to prepare for the rest and that is possible only if acknowledge that we do not know what future holds for us.
By acknowledging that we do not know, we are able to distinguish between what is in our circle of competence and what is not. So we can discriminate the amount of time that we need to spend on what we want to master and what to leave out. Warren Buffet amassed millions in the stock market by steadfastly keeping to the discipline of investing in only opportunities which was in his circle of competence and leaving out the rest.
My cousin Karthik, cracked his first technical interview in HCL in networking by answering ‘I don’t know’ to almost all of his interview questions. He got the job over many others who had completed courses in networking but were trying to guess their way out of questions for which they did not know the answers. His acknowledgement of not knowing gave the company confidence that he would learn better than others who thought they know, but didn’t.
Knowledge is power. But the greatest knowledge is in knowing what you know and what you don’t know. Stick to the former and be mindful of indulging in the latter. And Never ever be afraid to say ‘I don’t know’.