I remember my teacher handing out an assignment in Grade 3 and I did not understand what to do next. The room was silent except for the vigorous scratching of pencils on paper as all the other students got to work. I was scared to raise my hand and ask a question because I thought it would make me look bad.
I have learned a lot since then.
I yearn to never be the smartest person in the room. I understand that asking questions and being curious is what leads to growth and solutions. I know that it can also lead to mistakes as you work to make sense of things but failing fast and rising strong creates game-changers.
Investor and entrepreneur Ray Dalio, who started Bridgewater Associates, one of the most successful hedge funds, said, “Look for people who have lots of great questions.”
Sometimes, when you are new to a room, you do not have the context that others have. As Tim Ferriss mentioned in a recent podcast, your questions are the pickaxes mining the intellectual treasure of those around you.
You cannot fear mining that treasure. This allows you to be a sponge and weave that new knowledge into the wisdom in your brain that only you have based on your personal life experience. From there unique solutions can evolve. Along with exponential growth for you and your mission.
Chinese philosopher Confucius said, “The man who asks a question is a fool for a minute, the man who does not ask is a fool for life.”
How can we be a fool for a minute this week?