I’m not the best at everything; I don’t know everything. Actually, if you look at what I do know and the knowledge of the world, I know very little. I wish I knew a lot more about everything. I love educating myself and learning from the greats, watching Youtube, reading anything, experiencing new adventures, being in uncomfortable situations, getting in trouble, but when it really comes down to it and you look at the big picture you, I and everybody individually know only a tiny, miniscule amount.
Sometimes when you are working hard on a problem or idea you get to a point where you get so frustrated with yourself and all you can do is Stop. Take a breather and stop what you are doing. You are only going to make it worse if you keep forcing yourself to continue. You really are not going to be all that productive if you do continue. Maybe you have a problem at work or a personal situation at home, in any case, just stop. Do something else; do nothing else, but stop what you are doing. Why do you need the stress? You don’t. The world won’t end if you stop for a little bit. Where do you go from stopping or procrastinating on what you are doing?
Collaborating brings me back to the beginning of this post that we really don’t know much. But, how do we get past not knowing much and infinitesimally broadening our “Smartness” reach? By collaborating. Teamwork is such an amazing tool when it is done properly. Some people say they don’t enjoy working with other people, well if that is the case you are doing yourself a huge disservice. I try to collaborate on as many things as I can. My tastes are so varied and broad that I like to try many different things, but if I relied solely on myself to do things, it would take me forever to get anywhere with it. Between accomplishing that particular activity and the learning I would have to subjugate myself in order to accomplish it on my own, would take so much time. Instead, I could rely on a sort of teacher, mentor, or collaborator. Think of it like this: When you travel to a brand new place, say, a third world African country like Ghana, if you have to arrive there blindly and have no help, it will take you a little bit of time. It takes time to get situated, time to figure things out and time to know what to do there; it all takes time. However, if you have a friend in Ghana, then right away you have a weight lifted off your shoulders and you are going to have someone that knows the area and the customs. If you are able to rely on someone who lives there, you will generally be less stressed and do more truly cultural activities instead of the same high-priced tourist attractions everyone usually does, plus no need to research. It’s the same with working on a project. If you have to learn something about biotechnology and you don’t know anything about it, you are in for a long, arduous research session, but if you collaborate with an expert in biotech, then automatically you have a whole bounty of knowledge at your disposal. Plus, someone can plainly explain it in instead of just reading it from multiple, scattered sources.
Stop talking! When you realize that you aren’t the center of attention and not the source of all knowledge, then that is when you can start to listen. Listening is instrumental to collaborating. Listen to what your fellow colleagues, partners, wife, husband, employees, and customers have to say. Meet with people you want to collaborate with, but make sure that you understand that all of you should mutually listen to each other. There is no right and wrong answer. There is no demeaning each other there is only collaborating and expanding upon each other’s ideas and thoughts. Let go of always thinking that your way is the right way. Hear everyone’s opinions and then make a decision based on the information that is gathered collectively.
I collaborate on many things because I just genuinely like people and I like to get them involved. If people aren’t good team players they usually end up not being involved in a project on their own free will. I’m collaborating on this writing right now. I write my ideas and everything down and then my wifey polishes this turd of a post into a gem, fixing all my grammar mistakes and making me sound cooler than I actually am. I don’t have to have her check my work, but I respect her opinion. Plus, she is smart and when she edits it, I sit next to her and see what she would do differently and learn for the next post. I have a friend who thinks that he isn’t creative or good at coming up with ideas, but almost every time I collaborate with him on any kind of project, it’s like I had the key that opened up a floodgate of creativity within him. Also when we collaborate, if I have the big picture in mind, he has the fine details and how to make it beautiful. Collaborate on a Vine video; work together on a cooking recipe; write a book with your friend; enter a contest; get new perspectives from people in different work groups. Collaboration is like the exploration of each person’s admirations, knowledge and skills. When you tap into that resource, you are golden.
Ice Ice baby is just a sweet song of sweetness!