From an early age, we are expected to be smart and live a reasonable life, but instead, you should learn how to be stupid.
Often, we do things because we think they are logical and right., yet at the same time, we are sure that our lives will fall into chaos if we did not follow the rules.
What Being Smart Is All About
Being smart suggests doing what is right, based on a set of learned rules. These rules are often justified because they came from problems or mistakes we had in the past. We then use those experiences to justify our actions in the future.
Economists believe that humans are rational beings who make reasonable choices. When given a choice of one or two dollars, they figure people will always want to take more.
Economists need to learn how to be stupid because people are rarely rational about anything, as there are always other factors involved.
But this doesn’t seem right as people often make decisions for a variety of reasons. And at times they don’t seem to care about the typical reasons that seem obvious to everyone else.
Reasonability comes from science, or so we think. We figure we understand the rules of science, and that they can show us the right way to live. We sometimes even pretend that our scientific reasons are a moral guide.
The ideal of science itself usually a problem, it’s what we assume becomes of it that causes us grief. The way we use the lessons from science prevents us from seeing the world as it really is, outside of our personally constructed boxes.
People who think they are smart often put limitations on the world of possibilities around them.
These limits become even more problematic when we apply them to ourselves and deny possibilities within our own potentials.
People often say that nobody has any common sense anymore, but common sense isn’t so common. What seems smart to me, may not seem so smart to you. So what is common sense to me is not be common sense to you.
On top of this, our sense of responsibility comes from our knowledge and worldview. If we think we are smart, which we usually do, we act within our personal frameworks of possibilities.
For this reason, we should be careful about assuming what is smart and reasonable for other people. Because often, we can’t be sure about what is going on inside their heads.
Why We Try To Be Smart?
Our strongest motivation comes from our understanding of the world. We make choices because we think they will bring us where we want to go. Meaning our knowledge of a situation determines which decisions we can make in that situation.
As children, we discover cause and effect. By seeing things happen, we build up an understanding of the reasons why those things and other things happen.
This is what being smart is all about, we figure out how the world works by watching it and then we can make predictions about what will happen next.
On top of this, being smart exposes us to more knowledge. This in turn creates more self-imposed rules on our lives and limits the possibilities of what we can do. These limits in turn create a stricter sense of what being smart and reasonable means. The more we think we know, the more limited our choices become.
People who know less may make stupid choices, but for them, those are the best choices they can make. Not knowing the rules, in some cases, may even be an advantage.
Not being smart enough to know the rules, means you can be stupid enough to make your own.
Being smart and reasonable seems to make the most sense and sounds like the best thing to do. But we are often told to be smart about our decisions, but what that really means is that we should following the same old rules that everyone else is following.
We Have Forgotten How To Be Stupid
Being smart and reasonable often stands in the way of our hopes and dreams. Doing what is smart, at times, can be the worst possible thing you can do.
As children, we often have grand ambitions and dreams about what we can be and do with our lives. We also have lots of hope and are sure we can make our dreams come true.
Often, when we ask our parents or someone we trust for advice, they tell us to be smart and reasonable. In other words, they tell us to follow the rules and forget how to be stupid.
A lack of support for our grand ambitions often leads us to choose smarter more practical options, even if they aren’t what we want.
As we follow our parent’s advice, we make choices that don’t feel right in our hearts. But then, after a while, we start to believe that the choices we made make the most sense. Slowly we forget about our dreams and the other possibilities in our lives.
We rationalize with ourselves that we need a house, car and vacation. Then we figure we can’t get those things unless we make smart but boring choices.
Additionally, for something to seem reasonable, we often need to see it happening. It needs to be proven to us by the world. It is challenging to do something you haven’t seen before, which makes it seem stupid and unreasonable.
At times being smart sets limitations and barriers to doing what we really want to do.
Many of those barriers may really exist, and we shouldn’t forget that. But we also need to realize that being smart may be preventing us from trying to do what we truly want.
At times, remembering how to be stupid is essential. Ask someone famous, and they will likely tell you that the most sensible thing for them to have done was not to try. But they ignored the smart advice and instead did something stupid.
Happiness And Magic
Magic happens in the moment, which is to say it unfolds quickly and without explanation.
When things happen, we try to explain them away with reason, science and our ideals of being smart. Sadly, this approach takes away from the fun and mystery of things.
As we get older, we forget how to find happiness in what we can’t explain, we forget how to be stupid. A great example of this is how children react to a surprise. They get so excited and laugh, and they show lots of emotion, but they don’t try to understand or explain the surprise.
Kids haven’t had the magic taken away because they are still stupid, so they live in a world of mystery and unexplainable things.
As adults, we should try to follow the lead of children and live happier less smart lives.
Life can be more exciting when we stop worrying about why. Simple things can bring pleasure when they are not understood. We should try to be open to the unknown and be ok with not knowing all the answers.
By letting go of smartness, we can see things for what they are, which is often not so smart.
The Real World Isn’t Smart, It’s Stupid
If we focus too much on being smart, then we will have an explanation for everything. That seems reasonable enough, but can we be sure it is an accurate description of the world around us?
There are lots of things that we can not explain.
Popular science gives us the impression that we are smart and know a lot about the world around us. But in fact, we hardly know anything about anything.
The problem with believing the smart thing to do is that we think we know the world around us, but that ends up making the world smaller. When we accept our stupidity, we open ourselves up to an expanding universe where things can’t be explained so easily.
Most of what is possible is outside the range of what we think we know at the moment. We can be open and accepting of stupid choices, or we can demand proof and only make smart choices. The second, more popular option seems right on the surface, but will only hold us back from doing truly great things.
Being smart isn’t always consistent, the truth is that we don’t understand enough to be sure about anything.
What we know, is only reactionary, so instead, we should embrace the unknown.
Learning how to be Stupid Can Lead to A Better Life
I am not suggesting you entirely give up on being smart and reasonable. Many real-world risks can and should be avoided. In addition, throwing all caution to the wind is foolish and can be dangerous. Obviously, life can always be improved by living well and making good choices.
But we should be careful not to confuse living smartly with living the best kind of life.
Sometimes we need to make stupid choices if we want to be happy and do meaningful things.
It’s rarely smart to follow your dreams, but your happiness often depends on it. At the same time, knowing that even if you fail, you will get satisfaction out of the process. On top of this, knowing you tried will let you live without regret.
If you want a meaningful life, you need to be willing to step outside what seems smart, and you need to be willing to be stupid.
While living a smart life may feel safe, it won’t force you to look outside of what you know and potentially make stupid choices. In the long run, a safe life will rob you of all the most exciting and significant potential happenings in your life.
The best thing you can do right now is to live a little less smartly.
Embrace the unknown and stupid, and it will bring you more than you expect.
Don’t let being smart get in the way of living the life you want to live.
What are you doing in your life to be more stupid? Are you certain about too much and is that preventing you from living the life you want to live?