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We have all heard the saying “ignorance is bliss” but is it really?  Sometimes it is, but sometimes it is not.  I am with my tribe once again and there are always thought-provoking questions and enlightening discussions that occur. During one of our side conversations a comment was made, and I thought to myself, “I wish I did not know that.” My perspective on that topic has changed as a result.

A few years ago, a very popular restaurant in my area won the award for the Best Chinese Restaurant in America. Even before they won, it was the only place I ordered Chinese food. Sometime after receiving the award, the same restaurant was cited for multiple health violations. Many people, myself included, stopped eating there due to the news about the violations and the restaurant suffered.  They have since addressed all the issues and I am happy to report that they are back! Was knowledge of the fact that the restaurant had violated health codes good or bad for me? Maybe a little of both. I was deprived of very tasty, unique Chinese food but on the other hand I also possibly avoided being sick. In this case having the details about the restaurant citations allowed me to make an informed decision.

Man lying in grassOn the other hand, think about when we innovate. In my opinion, innovation happens when we apply a fresh perspective to solve a problem. Unconventional solutions can appear seemingly out of thin air when we free our mind from trite, conventional wisdom. When we challenge what we know or believe and don’t limit our thoughts to what has been done before, our minds and our teams are free to innovate. When we limit ideas then innovation will rarely happen. When approaching a challenge, ignorance of traditional solutions is bliss.

Is ignorance bliss? The answer is a definite maybe.  There are things I want to know and things I don’t need to know. If you remember watching “Friends” you may remember this clip. Joey licks a spoon and puts it back in the drawer without washing it. Chandler freaks out and Joey confesses to other, grosser crimes involving toothbrushes. They end up discussing using the same soap in the shower, then Joey says, “The next time you take a shower, think about the last thing I wash and the first thing you wash.” For Chandler, ignorance was indeed bliss.

Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn.” – Benjamin Franklin

When do you believe ignorance is bliss?

Have a blissful weekend.

 

Vijay

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