I love that quote from Julien Smith. As kids we don’t care about feeling stupid, we don’t care how others will react, we just approach problems with a clean slate. To a child there are no repercussions, that’s why they use their imagination so much. Somewhere between having a child like sense of wonder, and being a grumpy adult, we lose our imagination. Or as Hugh McLeod would say,
“Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten. Then when you hit puberty they take the crayons away and replace them with dry, uninspiring books on algebra, history, etc. Being suddenly hit years later with the ‘creative bug’ is just a wee voice telling you, ‘I’d like my crayons back, please.”
The real world eats away at us, older people are quick to call out ludicrous ideas, and unless they’ve heard about it before they don’t trust it.
School teaches us that being wrong is bad, you should listen to what you’re told, shut up, and sit still. That problem with that is, I’m 28, I STILL can’t sit still, I never do what I’m told and it’s still relatively impossible to shut me up.
So what happened to our world?
In her brilliant Ted talk on why it’s OK to be wrong, Kathryn Schultz tells a hilarious story on how she was wrong about a simple sign on the side of the highway. But she reminds us that being wrong is fine, it’s a sign of growth. And we can never shy away from sharing how we truly feel. It’s those who are willing to risk being wrong that are going to make a difference in our world.
I coach volleyball, I’m also on the Regina Volleyball Club board as the coaches rep. I had a ball bag of another coaches and she emailed me to leave it in my backyard for her to pick up and exchange for the ball bag she had.
I put the bag in yard and a couple days go by. It hasn’t moved. A week goes by, it’s still there. And this was February in Regina so her bag was pretty much entirely covered in snow before I messaged her asking about why she’d neglected to pick up her bag nearly two weeks ago.
Her response: Jeph, I picked up my bag two weeks ago, I exchanged it with your bag. That’s your bag in the back yard covered in snow.
Me: Well don’t I feel like a horse’s patoot.
Go on, risk being wrong. And the next time you feel stupid, look at it as a good thing, you’re growing.