Just reading the title of this post makes me cringe, but it’s something that I hear from people on a pretty regular basis. Someone will be seeking advice (not necessarily from me) about art, marketing, politics, their career, any number of things really. They want a solution; one or more are offered and you hear “Oh, I don’t know how to do that”.
In today’s world, these words really don’t apply. EVERYTHING you want to know is right at your finger tips. There’s Google, YouTube and “How to” instructions all over the internet and it’s all FREE!
Back in the day, we had to look things up in an encyclopedia or go to the library but today “I DON’T KNOW HOW TO DO THAT” just doesn’t cut it anymore.
Now I get it if someone says to you, “Maybe your headaches would go away if you preformed brain surgery on yourself” or “Perhaps you should grow wings and fly” In those cases; the offensive phrase, “I don’t know how to do that” is an acceptable response.
However, if the question is something along the lines of “How can I get more people to see my art?” or “how do I make a change in the world” and the solutions offered are things like “get on Instagram”, “build a website”, “open an Etsy shop” or “start a petition” and they utter the offensive phrase, it’s all I can do to not slap the person.
What you are really saying is I don’t want to do that, I am too lazy to learn something new, or, in the case of politics, someone else will do it. And, often times, these words are about FEAR rather than lack of knowledge. That’s ok, we are all afraid of moving forward at times whether we realize it or not.
When I was younger, I didn’t truly understand the value of learning or maybe I just didn’t understand how to learn. I admit that I was a late voter (in my late 20’s) because I didn’t take the time to learn about what I was voting for. It never occurred to me to seek advice from people who I admired or people whose values I aligned with. That, and, I was lazy about the whole thing, so I’ve been there too.
Now it’s a different story. I can’t learn enough and not a day goes by that I don’t Google something, look for a quick class on YouTube or grab a book on a subject that I am interested in. I have learned so much and I can’t wait to learn more.
Now for the good news…….
There is a pretty amazing group of people who didn’t utter this phrase and they are changing the world that we live in. I’m talking about the young people who started the “March for Our Lives” movement. None of these students knew how to raise money, start a movement, or knew much about politics and how the system worked. Probably most of them had never given a speech in front of 10’s of thousands of people either. They do now and they learned it all in less than a month.
Whether or not you agree with their message, I think we can agree that this is an exceptionally impressive and inspiring group of people, and most are under the age of 19.
Don’t tell me you aren’t voting because you don’t know who to vote for. Inform yourself ! Talk to people whose beliefs you align with and ask their opinions. Turn off the nonsense on television, skip the happy hour, get online and do a little research and figure it out. What could be more important than voting?
Don’t let me hear you say you really want an Etsy Shop or an Instagram account or want to upload photos from your phone but don’t know how to do it. Google it, look for a video on YouTube or ask someone to sit down with you and LEARN how to do it. You have no excuse, and you will feel empowered, you might even do a little dance.
If there’s something you have been wanting to do, don’t let fear or any other excuse stop you. Take baby steps, do a little online research and don’t expect to have the answers all at once. Give yourself time. As the saying goes “Rome wasn’t built in a day”
Now, take a deep breath, move beyond the fear and, go out there and learn something new!
If you aren’t registered to vote-do so.
Write down three things that you have always wanted to do but used the excuse “I don’t know how”
Pat yourself on the back and let me know how it goes!