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Stupid Is The New Smart When You’re Stuck

Funny quote on being smart and stupid.jpg

Being stupid is the lowest point on the learning curve to becoming smart. The line begins to move up when you decide to embrace T.I.M.E.* and do something ‘stupid’ — despite your situation, the naysayers, and a host of other roadblocks.

Not knowing how to do something is often the first obstacle keeping you stuck in neutral.  Seems logical. How do you move ahead when you haven’t got a freakin’ clue which direction to turn?

Answer: You step out in ANY DIRECTION and try.

Of course it’s hard. And scary. And because it’s foreign and goes against your hunky dory lifestyle, it feels “stupid”.

Maybe everything you’ve done up to this point in life worked fine. Then something happened that rocked your world in a not-so-nice way making you question everything you believed in. Sucked your worth and value, reducing your previous accomplishments and contributions to a footnote.

You say some version of:

“Nothing will ever be the same again.”

“I’m tired of trying or fighting.”

“You don’t know how unfair life has been to me.”

“Nobody understands how sad/mad/frustrated/ripped off/hurt I feel.”

Your feelings are all true. To you.

So  while you’re wallowing, moaning and feeling sorry for yourself, another finite precious day just passed you by. You’ve wasted the most limited commodity of all human life: TIME.

My great-aunt was diagnosed with terminal bone cancer in her mid-80s. In the face of certain death she remained positive and looked toward the future: “I have places to go, people to see, things to do.” She would say this during grueling chemotherapy treatments and the constant pain that consumed more days than not.

Here’s the thing: NOT dipping your toes in the water because it MIGHT be cold IS stupid. You simply can’t accomplish what you don’t start. And you can’t finish what you don’t fight for.

“Every great idea is on the verge of being stupid.”

~Michael Gondry

Imagine harnessing all the gifts and talents you’ve discovered — since spitting up was your thing — and take a big  leap into the unknown. Having the courage to seize your life can propel you in unimaginable ways.

When you dare to say yes to something new — an idea, a move, a challenge, a person, a goal — even when the “other people” or common sense or terminal illness tell you it’s stupid, DO IT anyway.

“Some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals believe them.”

~George Orwell

The first real big boss I had shared this piece of paraphrased wisdom: Assume every idea and thought you have is stupid, and go on from there. Things can only go up from there. Keep asking questions. Keep trying. I guarantee you, you’ll be surprised by what you learn, and how smart you become.

If you respect your own stupidity, assuming nothing is a smart position to take.

I know little about how electricity works.

However, as a kid I watched my two-year-old brother stick a hairpin into a light socket and char a few fingers.

To this day, I’m still unsure how electricity gets from the windmill at the industrial park to the bar blender on my counter. But if there are any operational issues, I don’t mess with the outlet. I unplug the thing and open a bottle of beer.

“First he told me my idea was stupid…and then he agreed to come onboard.”

~Pierre Omidyar, Founder of eBay

In his book, The Power of Starting Something Stupid, Richie Norton writes about the death of his son. The painful realization of the fragility of life shook Norton. He vowed to never waste another day of his short life again.

His mantra became:

*T.I.M.E. Today Is My Everything.

No more yesterdays. No tomorrows. Today is THE day.

He started with what he called a “stupid (business) idea” and ran with it, claiming it was the smartest thing he’d ever done.

You guys, it’s always going to be easier to give in or coast. You get to a point where the question becomes how much energy and effort is worth investing in the next chapter of your life.

But sometimes we need to rescue ourselves from an early death in spite of our circumstances. Being stagnant or paralyzed due to heartache, grief, pain, bad breaks or sadness is a tough one. There’s not a person in the world who wouldn’t blame you for curling in a ball and calling it quits.

It’s exactly these moments, when you feel squeezed between a rock and a hard place, that starting something fresh and new — being stupid — can be the smartest move you can make.

It might open up incredible possibilities. Or save your life. Or both.


Other related posts you might like:

Start Over With A New Mindset

Life Is Full Of Second Chances

3 Steps To Take When The Shit Hits The Fan

Original graphic: Stephanie DelTorchio

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