Lukas Z's Blog

About Fear and Being Stupid

Just a quick post for the “stumbling through life” category. I want to say this: There is a saying along the lines of “If I don’t feel stupid looking back a year ago then I am not learning fast enough”.

It’s of course about seeing the progress we make in our life, and because it’s easy to fool ourselves, and because it’s easy to run in circles (for sometimes ridiculous amounts of time), it’s good to have a way to gauge if we are progressing or stagnating.

The philosopher Seneca said “If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable”. I am using this quote to suggest that having a goal is a great way to prevent stagnation. We can see if the port is coming closer.

But even better, by looking back, and feeling stupid we know that progress has been made. On the level of understanding at least.

Skipping to yesterday: I was in a virtual meeting and I was attacked for the first time in a long time. Someone did not agree with my assessment of a problem we had, and not knowing me, and being a bit full of himself, he decided to attack me rather aggressively. It was ok, I was able to state my case using some good points, but I felt excited, my heart was pumping faster, he had made me nervous. I was not expecting this, so he caught me with my guard completely down.

But! It’s like with feeling stupid in hindsight. This guy gave me an opportunity to learn something about me. How I react to stress, how I deal with direct criticism. He put a spotlight on an area in my life that I can improve.

Now, as I said, this is about “stumbling through life”. I know there are people who are much more guided, driven and frankly strategic about their life. They probably cannot fathom what I am talking about here. (And I am trying to become more like them, too.) But I believe people like me should resonate with this post. Nothing is for everyone after all.

In the end, the question is: How can I get into more such situations like yesterday? How can I get to the point where I can say “Wow, last week I was so stupid.”? Knowing a good method to do that would be cool. I’ll blog about it when I figure it out.

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