Solutions > Keeping Face

About three months ago, I moved, sold, or quit my life as I knew it to start a two year software engineering program. It’s been a magical new world filled with man pages, pointers, and Linux (and I love it). Mostly though, I’m learning how to deepen my capacity to problem solve.

I’m approaching challenges with curiosity, grit, and a few of the most powerful words I’ve encountered…“I don’t know yet”.


Why is this significant? It prioritizes a great solution over your ego. It shakes out all the emotional, social baggage we bring into intellectual pursuits without leaving an inch for discouraged defeat.

Here’s the thing: as a society, we have a lot of problems — unprecedented, looming, dehumanizing issues that truly threaten our future.

We don’t have time to keep face. We don’t have the luxury of stifling innovation just because we want to control how our intelligence and ability is perceived.

When we admit what we don’t understand to ourselves and others, we are calling it what it is. We are opening a forum for insight, expertise, and creativity from countless people around and before us.

I’ve often wondered if some of the challenges we face as a society might have been avoided if people were a bit more candid in owning their ignorance. Would we have found solutions faster? Smarter?

What would it look like if we could check our insecurity before tackling a problem? If I were to guess, I’d say it’d be a refreshing relief that’d result in productive answers, creative processes, and a lot more fun.

A single golf clap? Or a long standing ovation?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.