In case you don’t already see where this is going, let me spoil it for you: Socrates was right. A wise man knows he knows nothing. Your local friendly neighborhood philosophy undergrad would be happy to spend an hour telling you why this true, but that’s not our goal here.
Knowing nothing is a nice little concept but what does it mean? Does a good leader actually “know nothing”?
Here is our perspective on “knowing nothing”:
1. Knowledge is relative.
Compared to a child, we know probably a lot. Compared to the full scope of universal knowledge, we don’t look so hot.
2. Knowledge is seemingly infinite.
What would it take to know everything? Just looking at collective human knowledge, Google estimates that there are over 130 million books in the world. You best find a comfy chair, you’ve got some reading to do…
3. Knowledge is actually constant.
The universe is governed by laws of nature. These laws are unchanging and predictable. Though our understanding of them grows, laws stay the same. The only thing that changes are specific conditions (time, place, etc…). When we understand laws, we can predict how conditions change.
4. Knowledge is a mindset.
You learn only what you take stock in. Your eyes glaze over endless data every day, but you only retain the important things that you can process.
To know nothing is a state of mind, not a literal condition. To live with this mindset, is to accept your limitations. It’s a big world, and the amount of knowledge is daunting, but you’re not alone.
The real power in knowing nothing, is other people. We only know what we know, and we can only learn what we can see, but 130 million books were written by human hands, and that number isn’t shrinking.
Someone who lives like they know everything doesn’t need other people, why would they? They are perfectly content with their knowledge base.
Someone who lives like they know nothing, quickly learns how to find experts who do know to fill in their own knowledge gaps.
Know when you don’t know, find someone who does. When you “knowing nothing” it becomes easier to know everything that you need in life.
Editor in Chief