Friday, February 18, 2011


You’ve asked all of them on your mind. The questions. Those incomplete thoughts or flashes of brilliance that you feel needs some sort of vindication that your opinion is valid. Those things burrowing into the dark places of the mind that prevent you from moving on rationally. What if I appear ridiculous? What if my lack of knowledge shows through? Am I that much of a know-it-all?, I know we covered this topic 1000 times, yet for some reason I just don’t understand. These are all thoughts that race through our minds many times at various parts of the day, and then repeated over, and over….and over….and….

Its okay and its normal. If we actually sat down and seriously thought about how many questions are answered in a given day, I don’t think we would get out of bed. Its okay to be unsure, its okay to ask for the second opinion (17 or 18 times a day) and its okay to question the task in front of you. Only by asking the question, and measuring the resulting answer, can we be completely effective in completing our goals.  Until we actually reach out for help…we’ll be stuck treading water, wondering why we aren’t moving forward, or even moving at all.

Over the last number of years (since I accepted that I wasn’t to win the lottery and would be working for pretty much all my adult life) One remark has always worked its way to the top…You won’t know if you don’t ask, or, There really are no stupid questions, just thoughts that need completing.  I don’t know why it is that human nature makes us prone to thinking ours is the only opinion that counts, and that ours is the only right way to do things.  Until we slow down and look at the big picture, we won’t be moving anywhere close to success.  Human Nature leads to the stubborn streak, which inevitably leads to a slow-down in production. This of course leads to missed deadlines, tasks half-done, and eventually work that we are not proud to have our name attached to.

My current associates are adamant that if I have a question or a thought that needs fleshing out….then ask. Its better in their mind to ask the same question time and again if it means understanding, then not asking at all, and falling flat on my face and having to re-do the assignment.  Humility is a big tool which we do not use enough, meaning there are too many times when we fail to ask questions, be they the right ones or the not so right ones, and proceed on a course which will change any number of ways, before correctly crossing the finish line.

If nothing but a good read comes from this—> ASK QUESTIONS to RECEIVE ANSWERS, and the understanding that comes from acquiring good information which will help the organization in the long run, but definitely help you in reaching your goals successfully.

©2011 the daniel j smith

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