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Learning is essential to living life. Without acknowledging what we do not know, we can never know what we don’t know.

Ignorance is a state of being uneducated or uninformed. It will be around for the long run. It is technically impossible to know everything. Even if you felt like you knew everything on a subject, your perception of reality is subjective. It is different than everyone else’s. This awareness brings on a forcing function to the driver. Once you have awareness of the problem, you cannot go back to the ignorance of pretending the problem didn’t exist.

The awareness of ignorance is the start of wisdom. As philosopher Epictetus said, “An ignorant person is inclined to blame others for his own misfortune. To blame oneself is proof of progress. But the wise man never has to blame another or himself.” It’s not a competition against others. It is a comparison of your past self and building upon those blocks to know more. The smartest people embrace their ignorance. They are intimately familiar with the limitations of their models, and they are excited when they discover that they’re wrong about something.

Business founder and online essayist Paul Graham states that:

You need humility to measure novelty, because acknowledging the novelty of an idea means acknowledging your previous ignorance of it. Confidence and humility are often seen as opposites, but in this case, as in many others, confidence helps you to be humble. If you know you’re an expert on some topic, you can freely admit when you learn something you didn’t know, because you can be confident that most other people wouldn’t know it either.

Accept your ignorance and choose to learn.


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