Dumb Questions: Convenient Excuses to Delay Action

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You may have heard that there’s no such thing as a dumb question. Or the only stupid question is the question that goes unasked.

Wrong.

There are many dumb questions; usually they are asked by people who are smart enough to know better but too fearful to take action – thus, the stupid question. I’m here to cure you of this heinous disease.

Someone snapped me today asking how hard it is to try out for the NBA in a scale of 1-10?

This is a dumb question.

Why?

  1. How hard something is or isn’t is 100% relative to the person who’s experienced it. What’s hard for me may be easy for you.
  2. No matter how hard or easy it is or was, that has no bearing on what you do. Is your decision to try out or not try out based on how difficult you perceive it to be? If so, you don’t belong in Pro sports – stay home and keep your money; use your time for something you have a chance at.
  3. If you have already decided to go for it and try out, this question is useless – no matter what I say, you’re doing the same action as a result. Which means you’re wasting my and your time with this dumb question (but I can use it as material to write this post – thanks!).

Here’s the thing with dumb questions. The person asking is using the question as a shield from taking action. The more questions one can come up with – answered or not – the more delay one can justify. [shareable cite=”@DreAllDay “]Dumb questions: a shield from taking action. [/shareable]

Let’s say the dumb question goes unanswered. Now the asker can say, well, I would (action), but I need more information before I do. I’m not ready yet.

If the stupid question does get answered: well, it’s harder than I thought. There’s more to it than I expected. I will need more time to prepare now that I know all that goes into it.

You see? The dumb-question-asker has a convenient excuse to do nothing, no matter what happens with the dumb question.

The dumb question is a virus many otherwise-good people must be cured of. Here are the steps.

  1. Act when you have just 10% of the information you think you need. Yes – 10%. The truth is, you will never know all there is to know about anything until you’ve accumulated sufficient experience. You can’t read your way to expertise. So as soon as you have enough information to do something, do it. [shareable cite=”@DreAllDay”]You will never know all there is to know about anything until you’ve accumulated sufficient experience.[/shareable]
  2. Reword dumb questions in the form of self-directed statements. For example, instead of, how hard will this be? Say, let’s start preparing now, so we are ready – no matter the challenges in front of us. In place of, what are all the things I need to do to get certified? Say, I know the first step at least – I’ll do that and then find out what the next step is. Simple and trite, yes. As is success.
  3. Never again allow a question to impede action. The next time you have a question which you think needs answering before you can do anything, flip it around: take action and you will stumble into your sought-after answer.  The people who can answer your questions have this ability because of their experience, i.e. actions they’ve taken. People who can answer lots of questions write books, make speeches, charge money for consulting, sell programs, and more. They trade on their experience. If you plan on joining that group, get out there and do something.

FACT: more people fail in life through inaction than through unsuccessful action. People think themselves out of success, question-ask their way past golden opportunities, and worry their way into living graves. [shareable cite=”@DreAllDay”]More people fail in life through inaction than through unsuccessful action.[/shareable]

All the while, a small percentage of people move before they’re ready, seize opportunity by taking initiative, and make things happen while everyone else is still asking (dumb) questions.

Which group do you want to be in?

Make quick decisions and take definitive action with Dre Philosophy Vol. 0

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