Intelligent Ignorance

Oxymoronic? Not in the least. I’ve accomplished a great deal as a result of my intelligent ignorance, and I’ve witnessed many others do the same time and time again.

Driven by desire, intelligent ignorance is the characteristic or capability of not knowing what you can’t do, and doing it anyway.

Mary Kay Ash probably explained it best in her classic explanation of the fact that the bumblebee can’t fly. Scientific evidence states that the bumblebee’s body is far too heavy and his wings are far too light. Aerodynamically, it is an impossibility for the bumblebee to fly. However, the bumblebee doesn’t read and therefore does fly!

Some may equate these shortcomings to that of a lemon, but the bumblebee certainly transformed them into lemonade!

Historically, Charles Kettering had a rather unusual lemon in the form of a broken arm. Many years ago he was cranking his car and it “kicked” him unexpectedly. For the younger generation, that means the crank on his car didn’t disengage, jerked sharply as a cylinder began firing and turned the crank rather than the crank turning the engine. The sudden lurch broke Kettering’s arm.

What did he do? First, he grabbed his arm in pain. However, he then immediately thought: “This is a dangerous thing to happen while you’re cranking your car. An easier, better, safer way to start engines must be developed or the masses simply won’t want to own an automobile.”

As a result, he invented the “self-starter.” The rest is history. His lemon, a broken arm, became our lemonade.

Don’t let anyone tell you something can’t be done. Anyone can do that. You be the one to show that it can be done.

About Harry K. Jones

Harry K. Jones is a motivational speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a company of professional speakers who provide custom-designed seminars, keynote presentations, and consulting services. Harry's top requested topics include change management, customer service, creativity, employee retention, goal setting, leadership, stress management, teamwork, and time management. For more information on Harry's presentations, please call 800-886-2629 or fill out our contact form.

One thought on “Intelligent Ignorance

  1. What a perfect post- I loved it and completely agree- reminds me of something I read by Anthony Robbins over a decade ago on the power of negative thinking…

    You are obviously also a master alchemist able to turn life’s lemons into lemonades.

    If we know/allow/accept that life is magical and not logical we can tap into solutions and genuis and creativity despite whatever knowledge we may lack.

    Very inspiring, thank you!


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