Strategically Embracing Ignorance
Pat Rhoads - Nonprofit Marketing & Social Media Professional
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Another 'Expert', only I'm not

Strategically Embracing Ignorance

When I was about 27 years old, Someone told me about a local semi-pro football team that was holding tryouts. Now, I never played formal football at any level, just pickup games with friends. But I felt like I had a basic skill set for the position I wanted to play (receiver), was in decent shape, and I wanted to play BADLY.

I showed up for tryouts, and found that most of the guys were between 18-23, looking to hone their skills before trying out for college programs or possibly even a pro team. There were a few 'older' guys, but all of them had played for years, and just wanted to extend their opportunity to play a game they loved.
Not a single one of them had shown up with no prior football experience.

When guys asked me where I played, and I told them I never had, most kept a good poker face and just nodded and wished me luck. A few looked stunned, but at least respected my determination. And at the end of the tryouts (which lasted several days), I had made the team as a receiver. It was an incredibly proud moment for me.

The secret, I felt, was that I went into it not knowing what my limitations were. Or to put it another way, I was ignorant of what I couldn't do.

Looking back. there's no way I should have made that team. All the other people at my position were younger, taller, and faster. But I didn't know that then, and I just went out and did what I loved and did it as best as I could, and what do you know. I succeeded.

And that's what I mean about strategically embracing ignorance. I'm not advocating you start a new business or a new job without learning the skills needed to be successful. After all, I knew how to play football when I showed up at the tryouts. But be intentional about doing whatever it takes to NOT be aware of your limitations. 

Because when you don't know what your limitations are, it's easy to overcome them. 

1 Comment to Strategically Embracing Ignorance:

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