The more I learn, the more ignorant I feel.
That’s the paradox of constant self-improvement: as you get better, you also become more aware of how much knowledge, skill, and experience you actually have yet to acquire.
It’s a tough pill to swallow — reaching the top of one game, only to realize there’s a completely different set of rules you didn’t know about — and this is why a lot of folks avoid ‘new’ like it’s a dangerous animal. It could endanger their self-perception and world views.
Of course, if you can make it past that initial punch to the gut, you end up growing as a person. You turn into a slightly better version of yourself. And if you continue to seek out such things — the information and people and experiences that rock your world and upset your status quo — you end up acquiring a taste for it. A hunger for new and different. A penchant for pioneering.
Something you tend to see with this segment of the population (the ones who can’t stop moving forward) is that they want to share what they know, what they learn, what they’ve seen and done, and how to do it — with others. There’s an indelible drive to share the wealth. To show others what has made you so happy and what has pumped up your enthusiasm for life.
It’s a utilitarian act, but selfish, as well: who wants climb a mountain alone? Far better to have others along for the journey, to share in the trials and tribulations, but also the victories.
When I review what makes me happy — what pushes me to keep moving, and to always be building on what I’ve already got — this is the drive that’s been hardest to come to terms with. I don’t want to force my opinions on others, but I do want to make sure they have access to the same information I do. And I want access to the information they have. Only then will we all be capable of making the best possible decisions.
Blogging, writing books, and my other publishing activities have all started out as experiments in how to best achieve this kind of relationship — one in which I, and the people I come into contact with, can best share something of ourselves with each other, and walk away feeling better for the encounter. It’s not always easy making this work as you scale up, interacting with more and more people, but it’s been more than worth the effort.
I can’t wait to see what happens next — how technologies, cultural norms, and influential personalities will impact this drive — and how society will change as a result.
Hopefully for the better.