June 20th 2019, Confucius’s Take On Question


Joshes and Joshettes, are you ready for this week's Philosophy Wednesday post (on a Thursday). There's no video with this post because I'm sick but this is still a good post. This week we will be learning from Confucius, so let's dive in.

"The man who asks a question is a fool for a minute, the man who does not ask is a fool for life." That's today's teaching and it is very similar to the saying, "There is no such thing as a dumb question." The reason I chose the Confucius teaching rather than the later is because the Confucius covers more. Like always let me disect the first part of the teaching "The Man who asks a question is a fool for a minute," this essentially means you may feel dumb for asking a question but that feeling shall pass. The second part "The man who does not ask is a fool for life," means if you don't ask questions then you will never learn. When you put both pieces together you get this as a meaning, it's okay to ask a question because if you don't you will never understand. Doesn't sound like something you can apply to your life or work, right? Wrong, let me apply it my life so that you can understand the power of this teaching.

Let me apply this teaching to my content creation business. Even though I’m a one man show, I actually don’t know how to do a ton of things. I could use that as a crutch and tackle the task half-assed but I don’t. If I don’t know how to do something, I make an effort to learn how. Why, because I want to get better and produce the best content that I can. Many people say that they don’t know how to do this or that and they let it define their lives. Think about a time when a new system was launched at your job, what happened to the people who refused to learn it. In Jocko’s book Extreme Ownership, he tells a story about a company that changed the commission structure and it made the workers less productive. When they were able to ask the CEO why the changes were implemented, they finally understood and were able to increase their productivity. They did not want to be fools for life, so they asked questions.

It may feel awkward if you don’t understand something but everyone else does. But it’s better to feel dumb by asking the question then to regret not asking. This is not only true in an education setting but also in any aspect of life. If you don’t ask then you will never know. When I say ask, I mean finding the answer. You can use Google, YouTube, mentors or even books just don’t use th lack of knowledge as a crutch.

Remember to be successful it's your right, duty, and responsibility.