Why dumb people are smarter

June 15, 2019

People who are smart often stunt their opportunities for success. Intelligence often leads to the closing of your mind and to entrenching oneself to ideas within your own echo chamber.  Being less open and receptive to new ideas you are less apt to be be able to change and adapt.  Success is about a being able to grow your skill set through the procurement of new ideas, processes and information.

 

There was a study done years ago with five chimpanzees.  A bunch of bananas were placed at the top of a domed cage and the top portion of the cage was electrocuted so as to shock the chimps when they tried to get the bananas.  After a period of time none of the chimps would go after the fruit. Then the electricity was turned off, a chimp was removed and a new chimp was added who immediately went after the bananas.  However, the other chimps pulled the new chimp down to prevent him from being shocked (even though there was no electricity).  Over a period of time, the original chimps who had been shocked were swapped out for chimps who had never been shocked yet the bananas were never eaten. These chimps were all too smart and not open to new ideas and the result was never discovering that the electricity was turned off long ago.

 

When you are an expert on a topic you need to act even dumber. At the point where you know 95% of what needs to be known on a subject you need to be exceptionally open to finding the last 5% of the knowledge needed.  You must approach everything with a "beginners mind".  If you are at practice, pay attention to everything being taught as even the most basic drill you have done for years might be coached in such a way that a new concept is conveyed.  Coaches, like players, should constantly be trying to improve and this means the techniques you learned last year may change and you have to be ready to accept the coaching.

 

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction." Proverbs 1:7. The bible teaches us to be humble when pursuing wisdom and realize we don't know everything.  This verse and similar verses point out the need to keep an open mind when pursuing wisdom.  Furhtermore, one can't be open to instruction if they have an answer for everything.  


We should all ask ourselves how open are we to new ideas and questioning our own understanding. Is our pride causing us to miss opportunities and gaining wisdom. Might we be so smart we are simply becoming dumber!

 

 

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