You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know [Action Steps Included]

I love this quote. On the surface it looks stupid in its simplicity. But when you understand it you realise that you’re always vulnerable to new unknowns and wonder just how much you don’t know and how much you’re going to learn.

You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know

It’s like the novice computer programmer who, on first go, gets a piece of code working right the first time it’s run. It’s the experienced coder who would question the fact that it worked first time round, as experience has taught that it’s not typically the case as you get better and better.

It’s like discovering the term “dropshipping” for the first time and realising your next door neighbour has been doing it for years. Or realising that the gas/petrol indicator on your car actually tells you which side of the vehicle you fuel up from. It’s a classic example of you don’t know what you don’t know.

So is there a way to fast track this experience learning curve? Well, as far as I’m concerned there sure is. Right now we live in an era that allows us access to unlimited data in seconds (Google). All you need is the SEED of an idea and then couple that with tenacity and time and you’ll know more than most on that subject matter within 15 minutes or so.

But you need one more thing, too. A reason. The reason is the component that will tie all the research/education together. Without this you’ll be searching for something without being able to put it into context to help you learn it.

I wanted to learn how to calculate large mental sums in my head fast. I have a huge passion for memory improvement and mental arithmetic was something I wanted to know particularly well as a child. So as I child I discovered Vedic Maths. As a result I used these mental math techniques to allow me to calculate sums with lightning speed. In fact, I even made a course on it (here).

I wanted to learn how to program so as I could write my own software tools (REASON) so committed to one hour a day with problem based learning – I wanted to make a piece of software and that became my reason, so I learned the skills around developing what the software would do.

Steps to Awesomeness

  1. Get a REASON for why you want to learn something.
  2. Learn the basics. These will always be needed. It’s like lifting weights at the gym. Don’t stick with the fundamentals in lifting properly and you’ll hurt yourself.
  3. When you’re on the learning curve and think you’re done, you’re probably not. Look harder for different situations.
  4. Ask questions. Ask better questions. Ask questions from different perspectives not just your own (key to learning more on the subject).
  5. In my opinion the different between a professional on a subject and your lack of knowledge of that subject is a matter of asking the right questions and understanding the answers.
  6. Often you will find someone on line asking a question that’s 95% on point to your question but not 100%. That 5% knowledge gap is all the difference to you having a complete answer. At this point, check point 3.
  7. Asking a professional about point 6. may return nothing more than you already know as said profrsional has not experienced this issue. This happens, a lot. Be prepared.

Now go out there and be awesome like you know you can be!

You Now Know What You Now Know.