When was the last time you said to yourself or someone those three words: I don’t know? For me, it is often. The more I explore a field, a technology, a living place, a book, a project, the more I want to know what I don’t know.
I would argue that in our modern world, it is easy to find knowledge online. I can even solve my own performance problem if I use Power searching techniques with Google. That implies knowing how to validate the resources I find using authentication and triangulation of the content.
I can also ask my voice assistant, Google Home, to make use of some clever tricks like:
“ok, Google define: serendipity”.
In that way, I don’t have to go to my printed dictionary to find out. I can also ask for a calculation, a conversation of 51 lbs in kg, a conversion of 68 euros in dollars, the weather in Paris, France today, ask who invented the computer?
Bottom line: for basic knowledge, I can ask almost anything.
How about knowing how to learn more about the personal and business usages of artificial intelligence? How about learning how to find inspirations from other industries? I would go to Quora and ask. I will also reach out to people in my trusted network on Twitter and through private remote communities.
Is it easy to find anything in a connected and augmented world and not saying I don’t know? Do I have an excuse to embrace not knowing as I can figure it out?
Trying new stuff, experimenting and figuring it out is what true blue explorers/innovators do. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, it is also a way for me to say, now I know! I have failed and learned a lot!
In a world that spotlights experts, saying I don’t know is also a sign of vulnerability. To connect with someone who may not know your field, strengths, practices, mindset, toolset, worldview. In short, you.
By enabling someone else to share their questions and insights before I share mines, I am more attuned to new ideas and possible actions.
In a nutshell, often saying ‘I don’t know is a way to trigger and cultivate my curiosity to know more about what I don’t know. It is a way to learn limitlessly and continuously. Isn’t it what true blue lifelong learner and explorer do?
How do you embrace “I don’t know”? When was the last time you let go your expertise to figure it out on your own and with people?