Most of the time I don’t know

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I’ve come to the conclusion, I don’t know anything. Every time the pieces seem to be fitting together, I find a new piece, which doesn’t appear to fit anywhere. There are times, I truly wish I “knew”, it’s tiresome search that elusive piece of “knowing”. 

I woke up very early this morning, when I do, my mind has a tendency to wander (or is it wonder) about a variety of topics. I’m not focused on being right or wrong; finding my next gig (or job); paying bills; being a master at anything. I get to let myself just ponder things, at my own pace, with absolutely no goal in mind.

So, as early morning musings goes, the above question came into my mind …

What if I’m wrong about everything?

What if I’m wrong about how business works? What if I’m wrong about marketing products/services or how money is made? What if I’m wrong about why people hire other people or look for contractors or consultants? What if what I think I know, is not how things really work?

In reality, those could cause a tailspin into a personal pit of despair and depression. It could, but it doesn’t. Mostly because I question myself all the time, my experience, my knowledge, my ability, my mental capacity. And because I question myself, I get to do two things (1) gain knowledge and experience and (2) understand “not knowing” is not the problem, it’s not wanting to know or learn that causes most (if not all) problems.

Over the past few months, I have read hundreds of articles, dozens of books, talked to people, asked questions, provide my personal/professional observations, etc and so on. And the one thing I’ve come to realize, we are living at a time of both chaos and experiment. The “rules” of our society are changing, and with it, how we live and conduct business are changing also.

I wrote the article about Frictionless Transactions and while thinking about the third law of Motion (All forces exist in pairs and the two forces are equal and opposite) I began thinking about why “sales” is such a struggle, why “buyers” just really hate the buying process, why some of the most powerful sales books have been about “dealing with objections and rejection”, and generally why is it so hard? It’s because the law of motion – there is “friction” within all transactions, and it needs to be overcome.

Think about this … as a buyer, why is buying a car such an unpleasant or uncomfortable experience for many people? Why is dropping $700 on a new phone almost an impulse buy? We can say, one is a “big” expense and the other is not – that money leaving our pockets is an issue; or the risk involved in making a wrong decision is much higher in one instance than another; or no one really understands the car buying process, and it involves not just the decision on which car, but how to finance it, and an ordinary person doesn’t really know how that works, they are black holes; or it could be that we’ve been told by other people (including our parents) about how terrible and horrible it is to deal with car salesman.

It isn’t always about the money … I’ve seen people that buy their “dream home” – which represents the single biggest expense in their lives – totally enjoy the process. And I’ve seen people agonize over the bread or eggs they purchase. I don’t know why and that’s the point, there are people that do know, or think they know. They can show studies and cite reports and we believe them.

Once again, what if they are just speaking from their limited knowledge, and what if their observations are wrong – suffering from the observer’s paradox?

I’m going to close out this article with a few sources, that may or may not make you question what you know – they made me question what I thought I knew …

What are your thoughts? Do you wonder if everything you know could be wrong?

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A Passionate Sense of the Possible

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If I were to wish for anything, I should not wish for wealth and power, but for the passionate sense of the potential, for the eye which, ever young and ardent, sees the possible. Pleasure disappoints, possibility never.” Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855)

Think about this little statement by Kierkegaard, for him, “possibilities” were worth more than “wealth and power”. How many us could say the same thing? Or would we chose money or power as the answer to our lives. Would we rather struggle towards a worthwhile goal or live life easy with little or no passion? (more…)