The Power Of Answering Questions We Know Nothing About
“Take the attitude of a student, never be too big to ask questions, never know too much to learn something new.”
– Og Mandino
Usually it’s for the best to just stay in our lane. Not trying to talk about things we know nothing or way too little about.
Sometimes I like to stretch though. See how I can handle a question on a subject I know way too little about.
For example, recently someone asked me about books on hand-to-hand combat.
How the fuck should I know? I don’t study shit like that.
Yet, I found myself thinking about it and remember hearing about some 15th century fencing master writing a book on the subject.
So, I did some Googling and found the dude. His name was Hans Talhoffer and proceeded to watch a documentary on his book.
Put a ding in the opponent’s head.
Curiously doing things like this has lead me to realize a couple of things.
1) Attempting to answer questions in this way can teach us a lot about ourselves and our values. What position do we naturally gravitate towards?
2) Whenever we “get it wrong” we’re reprimanded and corrected. This way we actually get a chance to learn something we probably wouldn’t have otherwise.
3) It’s a great exercise in humility and working against our fears of looking like a dumbass.
Also, these little exercises in mental athletics get me curious about subjects I wouldn’t have come across on my own.
Some people argue that this is something that should be left to experts and that it increases the risks of false information and takes time and attention away from the issue at hand.
While this is true I feel like there’s always something we can learn from each other’s point of view regardless of expertise.
It’s not necessarily always about the facts. The “truthiness” of things can actually spark a discussion. But while answering these questions I constantly find myself looking up ideas that support or debunk my claims.
So today I’d like you to listen to, in fact eavesdrop on, conversations and whenever you hear someone ask a question you know very little about, jot it down and answer it.
Let me know how it goes in the comments and hit me up on Twitter.
Have a kick-ass ₢eative day!