How You Can Attract Ideas, Opportunities And People By Saying I Don’t Know

How You Can Attract Ideas, Opportunities And People By Saying I Don’t Know

The world is a polarising place.

You have to pick a side. If you don’t, one is chosen for you.

We live in a culture where one of the greatest social dishonours is not having an opinion or not knowing.

We often form our views based on ideas borrowed from others. Rarely do we invest the time and thought to build our true conviction.

Allow yourself the uncomfortable luxury of saying I don’t know.

It will empower you in several ways. Above all, it will be liberating.

  1. Gives You Courage.

Going with one side or the other is comforting. It is nice to be shielded in company.

Taking a contrarian stand or saying you don’t know enough to support either view is like inviting wrath upon yourself.

It’s disorienting for you to say, “I don’t know.” And it’s infuriating for those around you.

The moment you confess your ignorance, the opinionated hordes will descend on you, trying to draw you to their side.

To resist them, your ace card is that you choose not to form an opinion until you have read or listened. Till you are satisfied.

From keenly observing people with firm opinions, I know that their only interest is getting you to declare allegiance with their side. They don’t care WHAT made you decide to support them.

  1. Makes Change Possible

I had a boss I liked who would often own up to not knowing things. Not his business stuff, mind you. He was too good at that.

But when we asked him to decide one way or the other about some solution we proposed, he’d often confess his inability to pick.

Much later, I understood that was his trick to get us to dig deeper. Perhaps come with a third, fourth, or fifth alternative. His openness to let us change our minds if needed before we reached a decision was a great lesson. It taught me to take my time and keep my options open till I was convinced.

  1. Attract Ideas

The moment people detect an opinion vacuum, they will drop everything and try to fill it with information and their ideas. You need to safely filter out those that are jingoistic or not supported by any logic or evidence.

Listen to the rest. You will be exposed to different views without the need to agree with any of them.

You may derive insights from some. Capture new ideas from others that will enrich your existing knowledge.

Either way, it is free information dissected in every way possible, served to you. All you need to do is analyse and use.

  1. Attract Opportunities

I organise monthly workshops for people who love to work with their hands. We hire experts in everything from woodworking to bartending to help interested people dip their toes.

At a parent-teacher meeting recently, I heard arguments for and against how many non-academic activities kids should be exposed to. I tuned myself out of the debate as soon as an idea struck me.

I am sure there are kids who want to make things with their hands, no?

We are organising a cupcake-making workshop for children this month. It’s sold out.

And the outcome of that PT debate? I don’t know.

  1. Attract Open People

Most ordinary people would ideally love time to figure out their views devoid of emotionally charged appeals. But there is safety in a crowd, and they are forced to pick a side.

Internally, they are seething about how they let themselves be manipulated like that.

And then you come along and, like a breath of fresh air, declare that you hold no views at all and are fine with it. These folks envy your courage and wish they could un-align themselves, too.

You become instantly likeable because people see what you are doing. They will be open with you.

  1. Wiggle Out Of Situations.

Political parties have student units actively recruiting in colleges. One such unit was enlisting members heavily in the college where I studied. Their volunteers would stop you anywhere on campus and try to convince you to join even if you disagreed with their stand on issues – local or national. I wanted no part of it.

One day, they confronted me. I tried refusing mildly at first. They wouldn’t stop. Then, it became compulsive.

Quite suddenly, I said, “I don’t know enough about your party. I will join once I make up my mind. Point me to your literature.”

This was a curve ball they did not anticipate. They had to let me go, and I never joined.

Simply because I said I didn’t know and did not commit by when I would bother to.

When you know where someone stands with regard to their views or opinions, it is either relieving or repulsive – depending on what opinion you hold.

But that is discriminating. It shuts out people from your life just because you disagree.

Taking time to form your opinion and being open to change attracts opportunities, ideas and equally open people.

It’s gratifying for your soul to understand than to be right.

Even if it means changing your mind about a topic, an ideology, or, above all, yourself.

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