It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so. — Mark Twain
There’s immeasurable value within Mark Twain’s quote and the lesson is worth repeating. It’s not what you know that gets you in trouble, but it’s the things you think you know but are actually wrong. If you don’t question your assumptions about the world around you, then you might well dig yourself into failure.
Why The Things You Know Can Bring You Failure
Long ago, people assumed that diseases were caused by curses and evil spirits… until Louis Pasteur discovered germs.
People assumed that the world was flat and you’ll fall off the edge of the world if you sail too far… until explorers like Christopher Columbus sailed forth and discovered new lands. (Though Erastothenes of Cyrene discovered that the world was round first.)
People also assumed that humans will never be able to fly and they thought “if humans were meant to fly, they’d have wings”… until the Wright brothers created the first flying machine in 1903.
Most people accept things as they are. They accept limitations and “reality” as if it’s something static and absolutely unchangeable and that’s why they don’t make progress. They stay as they are, living self-inflicted rules and limitations. It’s like a kid who rode a bike once, fell off, and started thinking that since he got hurt riding one, it’s impossible for people to ride a bike (even though he sees others ride bikes all the time).
Very often, a lot of things we accept as “true” simply isn’t. Like how a square is actually a cube when viewed from another angle.
What DO you assume about your life? What DO you assume about the world?
Money is evil. Rich people who have lots of money are all evil (just like in the movies, and everything that happens in movies are true, right?).
The stock market is gambling.
I can’t become successful because of my boss, my husband/wife, the economy, etc.
Entrepreneurship is too difficult.
Getting promoted is too difficult.
It’s not my fault I’m not getting promoted. My boss just doesn’t recognize my ability. That’s why I will never work hard unless they pay me more or give me a promotion.
It’s impossible to save money.
I can buy everything I want through credit and pay it all back later. There’s absolutely no problems with that plan.
Poor people have no opportunities so they will always stay poor (this is just like that biker who fell off and thought it’s impossible for people to ride a bike).
I’m not “born lucky” so I will never be successful.
Hard work never works, so I’ll never work hard.
Reading books is a waste of time.
I tried becoming successful, but it hasn’t happened yet so it’s better to stop trying because it’s absolutely and utterly impossible.
Sure, OTHERS can succeed but I personally can’t, even though many have succeeded with worse problems and less opportunities than I have now.
Do any of those thoughts sound familiar?
Do you believe them? Are they your “reality”?
They certainly WILL be if you keep accepting them. Aside from those, you have to question overly positive things as well for not everything will work for you at your current situation. It’s like trying to jump higher to climb a cliff when there’s actually a better path a few meters to the side.
Question what you think is true. Question the “usual” or “only way” to do things as they might just be holding you back. After all, the “usual” or “only way” to travel in the past was by walking or taking horses and carriages. It was the people who “thought different” who advanced society and became successful.
Will YOU try that too?