Do you know what you don’t know?

There’s a problem with not knowing the full facts.

Sometimes, representations or opinions can quite easily be labelled or mistaken for facts. You could jump the gun and think that an occurence could be caused by a given situation when in actual fact, the given situation may simply be a coincidental occurence. And in any case, just because something doesn’t jump out at you, doesn’t mean that it ceases to be what it is. Which is akin to the question – if a tree fell in a forest and there was no one around to hear it, does it mean then that the tree did not fall?

When you don’t know what it is that you are ignorant about, then it is much harder to address that ignorance.

You may be mistaken into believing that you are simply not ignorant. You may be led to believe certain things based on how you’ve assessed the situation, rightly or wrongly.

In life, in meetings, in situations, you are rarely, if ever, in a position where you have access to all the facts. You rarely are in a situation where you can make sense of all the information before you, in a sensible well-thought out manner. Emotion, pandering, persuasion, communication all make their presence felt and affect how well you read the situation. And the sum total of all your experiences, as well as how you’ve dealt with these experiences, how you have interpreted and made sense of them, in your quest to manage your own growth and enlightenment through these experiences, also have a part to play.

So, that said, you need to :

1.Have an opinion.

To develop your critical thinking skills, you need to think through an issue, voice an opinion, learn from it, discover whether it’s right or wrong or simply work your way around it. The point is not so much whether you are then right or wrong but to go through the process. If you are too afraid to put your stake in the sand and essentially, to commit, then you will never know what you want, what you don’t want or even be able to articulate it when you need to.

2. Be open to other views.

At the same time, and odd as it sounds, you need to simultaneously look outward for the opinion of others. You need to benchmark yourself against others. You need to be privy to other perspectives, other experiences and essentially, open your world up. If you are closed off, if you believe yours is the only way, or that you’ve got it all figured out, then you will most probably never find room for improvement. To learn new things or new perspectives, you need to empty your mind out a little and let others wander in. 
 
But I’d suggest coming to your own opinion before you go out exploring the opinion of others.
 
3. Be willing to experiment. To fail. To get it wrong.
There’s an element of courage needed, for sure. And to that, you add curiosity and wonder. Match these with desire, dedication and passion and you have a winning combination.
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About rowena morais

Media Communications and Editorial Specialist. With my strong professional network of contacts, I help individuals and organisations, particularly those within Human Resource and Technology, strengthen their skill-base and brand through compelling writing, beautiful design, content marketing and publishing. Let's talk.

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