Peter Drucker, the Cluttered Attic and the Invention of Rules

Removing Disabling Ignorance

This is that one step you will want to go back very frequently. Why? Because as a human we have the tendency to fall of the wagon pretty quickly as far as inventing meaningless rules.

Those meaningless rules is pretty much disabling ignorance, a concept that Peter F. Drucker (LINK) came up with and detailed it in his book Managing Oneself, and it hurts you in ways that you don't even know.

Donald Rumsfeld said the following:

"There are known knowns, there are things that we know that we know and there are also known unknowns, that is to say, there are somethings we know that we don not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don't know we don't know."

I will go ahead and say that there are also things that we think we know but in reality we don't know. And that's pretty much how most of us live today, we hold convictions about certain subjects because we feel we learned enough information to decide whether it is either good or bad, right or wrong.

Truth is, that same conviction is what holds us back from truly learning and having a much happier experience as humans. Warren Buffett advises to get rid of at least one good idea per year, that is, something that YOU believe is good or right. Analyze the idea aka conviction, ask yourself why 3 times and if the answer doesn't satisfy you fully then get rid of it.

There is a saying by Nietzsche that says that "Convictions are more dangerous enemies of the truth than lies" and I couldn't agree more with it. You see, all of the sudden you find people coming up with made up opinions only to support their own beliefs. As Tai (LINK) said in the video for this step "Ignorance is a condition of the human experience that is only removed by careful operation".

Furthermore, this step challenges you to argue the opposite side of whatever it is you hold a strong belief about. It also encourages you to change your views and ways if you really want to.

Don't be afraid to change your mind, change your direction, who cares what people will think and say. Most people's minds are way too cluttered with things they think they know but know nothing about, hence, they don't have much more room to understand how you can so quickly learn and move on from old foolish ways. 

Like Sherlock Holmes (LINK) said in A Study in Scarlet by Sir Conan Doyle


“I consider that a man’s brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose. A fool takes in all the lumber of every sort that he comes across, so that the knowledge which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at best is jumbled up with a lot of other things, so that he has difficulty laying his hands upon it. Now the skillful workman is very careful indeed as to what he takes into his brain-attic. He will have nothing but the tools which may help him in doing his work, but of these he has a large assortment, and all in the most perfect order. It is a mistake to think that that little room has elastic walls and can distend to any extent. Depend upon it there comes a time when for every addition of knowledge you forget something that you knew before. It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones.”

So go ahead, get rid of all the junk you don't need up in that attic. And if you ask how do you get rid of disabling ignorance, Tai suggests to :

  • Read more and Expand your mind

  • Travel & Explore different cultures

  • Meet new people

  • Establish a mindset that is not so set on rules

  • Once a year get rid of a "good" idea and or belief

Enjoy the sweet side of life.