Monday, June 14, 2010

If it hurts do it more often

As a kid, most of what you did was related to learning. Some call it "playing" or "being curious", but whatever you call it, it's learning in one form or another. And learning hurts. A lot.

So you start going to school to make learning not hurt so much. As a 7-8 year-old you enjoy school, because it makes learning much easier. Also, you can play with your class mates, like say, play soccer. Oh, by the way, playing soccer makes you run faster longer, gives you better balance, gives you better feeling of how flying objects behaves (like a ball), better timing your own movements to others (like your team mates). It also makes you better winning and loosing (you aren't a bad looser, are you? How about a bad winner?), and it makes you better at focusing on a particular task, and making other (your team mates) focusing on the same task as you. It's all learning.

As you grow older you become more comfortable with most things you do because you know them. When you finally leave school to start working as a programmer you lost all will to do things that hurts... because you lost your will to learn (in comparison to how much you wanted to learn stuff as a kid). You lost your will to discover new things.

Stupidity hurts

So, when stated with a problem that forces you to do something you don't know or something you really don't like, you stall. Stall, stall, stall, because you don't want to do it. You want to do something fun. Something you know how to do. Something that makes you feel secure and comfortable. Something that makes you feel less stupid!

Yes, you are stupid. I'm stupid. We are all stupid. No one know everything, so everyone is stupid at something. And we will remain stupid at those things unless we learn how to do them better. But... Ouch! Remember? Learning hurts! So we think to yourselfs "Ooh, I don't want to do that!", or put slightly different "I may get hurt doing that! I'd rather stay stupid!". Imagine if you thought that way as a 8-year-old kid in school... or at the playground, or at the soccer field. We wouldn't get many marathon runners or Nobel prize winners that way, would we?

The cure

It's really easy: dare to be stupid. Dare to ask stupid questions. After a while, you'll notice that you start to ask really hard questions, and before you know it you'll ask questions no one (you know) have answers to. And then, as it happens, people will ask you instead. If they dare to of course (hint: they should).

In fact, I think that people will be more likely to ask you (stupid) questions because they'll seen or heard (of) you ask (stupid) questions. And you know what, people do as other people do. Especially like people they look up to, and since you know so much (from asking stupid questions) they look up to you. Isn't that neat?

The workplace

If you have colleagues who don't mind potentially looking stupid by asking a question, you've work at a good company, I think. But I'm not really someone who read or thinks about this a lot, so I may be wrong. There may be effect here that I'm clueless about. Anyway, my feelings are that I'd be more at home at a company like that than a company that encourages silence and really intelligent questions only. But I'm just me. You are you, and you may feel entirely different about this.

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