Figuring Things Out For Yourself

Figuring things out for yourself is, apparently, a skill many people haven't developed.

Recently I saw a banjo for sale. Now, I play the keyboard and harmonica, and know I like a plucking or picking style of guitar playing. But a banjo? I quickly realized I'd never spent a moment thinking about the question of "How does one play the banjo, exactly?"

So I turned to my trusty friend, Youtube: seeing is believing, and a couple How To videos educated me up real quick.

Figuring Things Out About Playing the Banjo

Turns out there are at least three playing styles for the banjo...and the plucking method uses not one, not two, but three picks!

Index and middle finger, plus the thumb.

figuring things out with banjo picks

Again, I'd never before asked myself how the banjo was played. I'd always assumed it was a single pick instrument, just like the guitar.

Mind = Blown for that moment.

A few days later, I was watching a "life hack" show...always interested in seeing what such episodes come up with. Most of the time the topics are things I already know about. But this time, the host was discussing how to get inexpensive flights on private jets.

Figuring Things Out About Affordable Private Jet Flights

I'm a tall guy and the cattle car has zero legroom for me. So I was immediately interested.

figuring things out for empty leg flights

After the show was over, I googled the terms and opened up several relevant article posts. In a few minutes, I had learned what I needed to know, and had a couple solid sites offering such "empty leg" deals.

It is a constant source of surprise to me how others seem to lack what I consider to be this basic skill in figuring things out for yourself.

People ask questions on forums that a simple Google search would solve for them.

Almost as if they prefer to remain in ignorance. To be a victim. To have someone else spoon-feed them the solution.

Since around the age of 22, when I finished college, I have been able to flip through a book I've never read, and within a few minutes pull out quotations that form and support an essay. I have, even this very year, structured essays for friends in school on topics I have not even heard of until they asked for help--usually with only a handful of hours before it is due (and gotten good grades, too). My purpose here isn't to grandstand: it's to demonstrate how I am accustomed to figuring things out for myself.

How To Go About Figuring Things Out For Yourself

If you aren't sure what kind of a process to use for figuring things out for yourself, do this:

  1. Google the topic, using words to describe what you want out of the answer. Eg. "how to book private jet empty leg flights".
  2. From the search results, open three to five of the links with snippets that look most promising.
  3. Quickly scan the sites as they open to confirm they are giving you the information you want.
  4. Carefully read the ones that "make the cut".

You will now know more than most people about that topic.

That's all it takes. No heavy lifting. This isn't even really what I would call effort. You can learn what you need to know in under 15 minutes.

Get into the habit of figuring things out for yourself.

Before you ask someone else, follow the straightforward process above and see what you come up with.

You can still go ask the expert later...and you'll have better questions, too. Better questions, by the way, lead to increased interaction with experts--they appreciate you've done some work on your own, and not having to hand-hold you through the entire topic.

>> Jason Kanigan is a business strategist. Are you or is your team struggling with figuring things out on your own? Talk to Jason about it! <<