“Sometimes the stupid succeed because they don’t know that they’re stupid, and if they were only 5 percent less stupid they would be smart enough to know that they’re plans won’t work” —Neil Gaiman

 

“Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing.” —Warren Buffett

 

Two successful men. Two different takes on the value of information. Each has its own risks.

Go into the frey with too little information, and you run the risk of being underprepared. You learn costly lessons the hard way, and may never make it out alive.

Seek out too much information, on the other hand, and like Adam eating from the tree of knowledge, you’re suddenly aware of your own ineptitude. You look upon the masses who’ve gone before you and failed, the warning signs, and pessimistic YouTube comments, and run the risk of snuffing out your enthusiasm before the fight even begins.

So which do you choose? The safety of knowledge, or the bliss of ignorance?

I offer a third option: Adopt a “Let’s see” mindset.

Let’s see if I have a special talent for this. Let’s see if OldRaven729 really knows what he’s talking about. Let’s see what would happen if I tried exactly the opposite of what everyone’s saying.

Being informed of the risks can help us to sidestep the traps that uninformed competitors never see coming. Adopting an experimental mindset, one that’s okay with uncertainty, can help us side-step the traps we lay for ourselves.