Guru or Fool?

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by: David Armano

"Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish."
~Steve Jobs

In the past several weeks, I've been noticing a pattern.  I've seen words like "Guru", "A-lister" etc. next to my name—and it's freaking me out.  Don't get me wrong—this aint about coming across as humble, nor it is an attempt to dictate how I'm labeled.  What makes me nervous is what would happen if I started believing these labels.

Here's the thing—I believe in "The Curse of Knowledge" as Dan and Chip Heath put it.  And I believe that when you know too much—it takes away from your creativity and your ability to see things from different perspectives.  I've been thinking about this quite it bit.  I've been having mixed feelings regarding the specialized degrees that are being marketed to us, promising to turn us into design thinkers, creative strategists etc.  Steve Jobs, the original design thinker was a college drop out.  What does this tell us?

I'm happy to see the business world take creative problem solving seriously and I'm certainly not against higher education or any of the new programs.  But I'm also wary of what happens when we perceive ourselves as experts who have been trained in the black art of [insert profession here].

I started this blog because I was hungry.  I was most certainly foolish.  I had no idea what on earth I was doing—and that sense of wonder freed me from any restrictions or limitations I might have otherwise been put upon myself.  There was no "Guru-sim" involved, and no formal education or even work experience could have taught me to open a Typepad account and make the transformation from spectator to participant.

That was an act of foolishness on my part.  I was foolish enough to believe that people would come here.  I was hungry enough to spend my downtime producing content and talking to people vs. watching the tube.  So, you can call me whatever you like—but for my own sanity check, I'm going to stay hungry and foolish.  Sir Ken Robinson put it best—we sometimes "live in our heads".  That's what the curse of knowledge can do to us.  If you have 20 minutes to spare, I'd stop what you are doing and watch his video.  Good for the head, soul and absolutely 100% foolish.