What You Thought You Knew Isn’t So

by Jay Deragon on 03/09/2012

 Ever approach something new with the knowledge, experience and schooling of your past only to find out what you thought you knew isn’t what you need to know?

When I first started studying social technology everything I experienced was filtered through what I knew and I tried to make what I was learning fit into what I knew and it simply wasn’t working very well. I would apply my past experience and knowledge to the new medium and make my own conclusions and assumptions while having an inner voice say “that doesn’t work here”.

Frustrated with myself I embarked on a journey of study encompassing social science, technology, thought leadership and a host of other relevant subject matters. I participated in numerous forums, dozens of networks and I talked with some leading academia, experts in different fields and executives from some of the Fortune 500.  My brain felt like it was getting overloaded as I contemplated all that I had heard, read and experienced. There came a point in which my wife, always the wiser one, said “would you please give it a rest and let it go”. At that point I knew if I didn’t take her advice I would be in trouble, if you know what I mean.

Then all that I didn’t know and thought I knew begin to make sense. From that point forward my mind began to put things together and I felt like I had finally broken through what I thought I knew to a place of what I really needed to know. Now the journey seems to accelerate as I learn something new everyday which in itself is extremely rewarding. Now my challenge is not to take what I knew yesterday and apply it to what I need to know today.

As I continue to study this emerging social space (this is my sixth year)  the above lesson learned has been my tipping point. Maybe I am just old and stubborn and the above lesson learned doesn’t apply to you. However my observations of the exchanges of communications and the stubborn positions being taken would lead me to believe I am not the only one who thought they knew but it isn’t what they need to know. Then again my observations and conclusions could be totally wrong because of what I thought I knew.


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