“Going into the unknown is how you expand what is known.”
— New York Times best-seller Julien Smith
A new year brings a new start, offering hope. It also brings some trepidation, for we have no certainty in how the awaiting 12 clean months will be filled.
That is OK.
Knowing what will come next can bring comfort; there’s a reason many of us build our days around routines. However, knowing what will come next can also bring a sense of complacency. As we resolve to better ourselves this new year, heed the above message from Julien Smith as well as this one from Liz Wiseman: There is power in the unknown.
Wiseman, an author and social scientist, has been called one of the top 10 leadership thinkers in the world. She believes that knowledge is power, but not knowing brings about more opportunity. Wiseman promotes the value of approaching life with the viewpoint of a rookie: “The best leaders are restless learners and perpetual rookies. They realize that it is not what you know that counts, it is how fast you can learn.”
She expounded on that theme at a speech at Brigham Young University, saying, “We need to recognize that we tend to do our best work when we are on the outer edges of what we know, when we are doing something hard and new. … There is a linear correlation: as challenges go up, so does our satisfaction. We are built for challenge.”
How can you challenge yourself to grow this new year, to stretch to new heights?
Surround yourself with smart people and tap a flow of ideas. Take on difficult tasks, for they offer room to grow. Don’t think you have the answers; ask really good questions. Throw away your notes and start a task fresh. Admit what you don’t know because it creates a powerful dynamic with those around you. Seek feedback. Follow trends. Explore more.
In 2019, embrace the unknown.