Stupid questions, figuring stuff out, favourites and hidden gems

sent by Nick Grantham | 6th April 2021

"'There's no such thing as a stupid question' is a stupid statement. Because, of course - there IS such a thing as a stupid question. There are LOTS of stupid questions."

Stuart McMillan

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I always tell people that there's no such thing as a stupid question, so when I opened up last weeks newsletter from Stuart McMillan, his opening statement made me stop and think. Have I been wrong all these years? But, do you know what, he went on to make some bloody good points, so I've changed my mind. There are stupid questions! In fact, I've experienced them at conferences and when delivering workshops. You can sense they're coming, and often they're not even a question. An audience member just wants to make a point or talk about what they've done. I get it, but it's not a question, so pipe down and let others ask a question they need answering. Stuart also describes 'leading' questions as being stupid. You know the sort of thing, someone in the audience has an axe to grind, so they dress a question up to ram home their own point of view. And let's not even get started on the questions on social media platforms that masquerade as jumping-off points for binary arguments. Stuart suggests we change the statement from STUPID to BASIC or SIMPLE. If we don't know something, we shouldn't be afraid to ask the question in short, simple and basic terms.

Source: Stuart McMillan - Altis

"Figuring out that you'll probably never figure it out is the first step of really figuring things out."

Bill Murray

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People bang on about the Dunning-Kruger effect, but I think Bill Murray (if indeed he did say it!) nails it. Maintaining a 'beginners mindset' is the key to lifelong learning. Once you understand that you don't have all the answers, you're on the right track to really figuring stuff out.

Source: Bill Murray (I think he said it...not 100% sure, but it sounds like something he would say!)

"Everything new that you do will always be your favourite, but you have to do the old stuff to learn and get better."

Chris Moyles

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I was listening to Chris Moyles interview Jade Bird on his breakfast show last week. They were discussing her new album, and Chris asked her if she listened to her old songs. Jade said she didn't because she didn't like the old songs. In her opinion, they weren't good enough. Her new songs are better etc. Chris then said, "you're wrong, those songs are great, you don't like them because you've learnt new stuff, built up more experience etc., and now you love your new songs on the new album. But, we (the general public) love the songs from your first album, so you're wrong; they're still great." He made a great point. We always think that the thing we are working on right now is the best thing we are doing. We look back at old projects and think they're rubbish. But that's just not true. They were good at the time; it's just that we've progressed and got better...but the old stuff was, and probably is, still good. Remember, we have to do the old stuff to learn and get better.

Source: Chris Moyles Breakfast Show - Chris Moyles

"Rules conceal more than they reveal."

Mark Williams and Tim Wigmore

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I've just started reading The Best: How Elite Athletes Are Made, and one of the first pages that I marked up with my sticky page markers had this gem on it. Whilst I think it's essential to work to a set of first principles, and I love a framework or operating procedure, we mustn't get so bogged down developing rules, regulations, protocols and session plans that we lose sight of critical elements necessary to success. Sometimes having rigid structures hide the important stuff that can only be revealed when we loosen up a little.

Source: The Best: How Elite Athletes Are Made by Mark Williams and Tim Wigmore

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