Being Around Smart People

Being Around Smart People

I'm trying to decide if most people are dumb, or just lazy.  Or maybe there isn't a big difference between the two in practical terms.

Don't get me wrong, I love people.  I'm an ENTJ on the Myer's Brigg's personality test, and that "E" stands for Extrovert.  I get my energy from being around people.

And I do plenty of stupid things.  But it hit me the other day when I was giving Steve, a friend of mine, directions to our office.  I offered to give him our address, and he said, "nah, I can find it."  And it hit me that he just knew that he could find our office without my help.  I bet he hadn't even tried, but he just knew he could.

Why is that attitude so rare in our world? Are most people not smart enough to realize they can do something if they just try it?  Is it a time allocation issue, where people don't have the time or motivation to go find the answer themselves, so it's just easier to ask someone else?

There are so many times in life that I have not known how I was going to accomplish something, yet I knew I would, because I had to.  Failure simply wasn't an option.  I would find a way to do whatever I had to get done, even though I had no idea at the time how I would do it.  I think once you face that feeling enough times, you start to be more relaxed when the unknown comes about.  I do believe that most people simply get the idea in their heads that they can't accomplish something and stop trying.

My mother had the best advice for me as a kid:  When a problem seems insurmountable, just break it down into a series of smaller problems and accomplish those first.  Pretty soon that big problem won't seem so difficult anymore.  I also played with LEGOs incessantly when I was young, instead of watching TV.  I wonder if the problem solving skills I gained in that capacity have helped me now.

I've already written a post on checking Google before asking me questions.  But this issue really goes deeper than that.  It touches on how people make decisions based on fear instead of logic.

So, next time you have to go to someone's office and they offer to give you the address, try telling them, "nah, I'll find it" and see how they react.  Chances are they'll be pretty dumbfounded.  And then go use the resources at your disposal to find the address, and get really good at doing things like that over and over until you're efficient at it, and it's easier for you to find information on your own than ask someone else for it.