Roger Harty: Two Dangerous Words – “I Know”

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rsz_roger_hartyI WAS doing a course many years ago when the tutor came in one night and informed us that the two most dangerous words in the English language when used together are “I know”.

I must admit that my first reaction was that of being a little indignant (if that’s the right word) on hearing this as there surely must be more dangerous words – e.g. ‘nuclear bomb’ – but when it settled on me and I reflected on what he was saying it began to dawn on me – How right he was!

You see when we use the words ‘I know’, a definite amount of closure happens. We know the answer and there is no more to be said or learned. Therefore we are not open to the possibility of there being another way.

As you well know from reading my column, I have a great fondness for old sayings and phrases. I’m now going to leave you with two more:

There are many ways to skin a cat

May I live as if I am going to die tomorrow but may I learn as if I am going to live forever.

The key here is to allow ourselves the possibility of learning something new. That is what keeps us on our toes, it is what keeps us alive and challenges us on a daily basis.

The world is changing so rapidly and it is important at a certain level to keep up with these changes.

We can complain forever that computers and technology (mobile phones etc) are taking over the world but it would be wrong to shun them from our lives completely.

We can embrace the change even for the simple reason that if we don’t, in a few years’ time we will find that it is extremely difficult to open a bank account or even to pay a bill.

In a nutshell what I am saying is that we should be open to change and to embrace these changes, because the alternative is that we can moan and sit in a corner giving out and these changes are going to happen anyway despite our resistance.

It is part and parcel of getting older that there is more resistance to change. That is why I have so much time for groups like the ‘Probus’ group as they help our more senior citizens in a great way to adapt to the these changes in our immediate environment.

You see any of these changes involve a certain amount of fear and that fear is absolutely normal for us as human beings as we are stepping out of our comfort zone.

We are stepping out of the space of ‘I know’ into the space that there may possibly be another way of doing something.

Nothing gives me a better understanding of this concept than the story of the great Galileo.

When you go back about 500 years (not long in the existence of mankind) the whole teachings of the sages of the world (especially the powerful Catholic Church) was that the world was flat.

Galileo (along with Capernicus) suggested that the world was round and that if we looked at the world in this fashion, then a lot more things would make  a lot more sense.

Could you imagine the fear that existed particularly in the sailing fraternity because they feared up until that time that if they sailed beyond a certain point that they would fall off the edge of the world to oblivion.

They showed the courage of their convictions, moved out of their comfort zones were prepared to put their lives at risk and moved from the space of ‘I know’ into the space of possibility and learning and accepting that there may be another way.

In hindsight we can now appreciate how right they were and we can now travel around the world freely and with great certainty (comfort) that we know where we are going.

However we should never lose sight of the gratitude that we owe to these great men – without them we would still be ploughing fields using the jawbone of a giraffe!

Next week I am going to write about Galileo Galilei – An all-time hero

• Roger Harty is a life coach and can be contacted on 087-6128336, on twitter at @Innerjoyz1 or by email

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