The things we don’t know are more valuable than the things we do know. Ask yourself, “Do I know who I am and what the world around me is really like?” The answer is no. As we grow older, we learn new things about ourselves and about the world around us. We hold new viewpoints, gain new perspectives.
I’m fond of the idea of an anti-library, although I do feel it’s virtue signaling. An anti-library is having a home library filled primarily with books you haven’t read yet. This is meant to represent the knowledge you don’t know, which is inherently more valuable than the knowledge you do know. It is meant to serve as a reminder to try new things.
I think it’s amazing that world-changing ideas are waiting to be found. The combinations are available and we have what it takes to execute on these ideas, we just need to discover them first. We should experiment more since there is no other real way of discovering them. Before the wheel was invented a group of people didn’t form and say “Let’s create the wheel!” because they would have known what they were looking for, which would’ve meant the wheel already existed.
Innovation must come through random iterations. It's like the saying of how people create their own luck. By consistently taking small risks or engaging in experiments one can find new things and learn more about themselves. I felt similar when I went to college. In high school you are surrounded by the same people, many of which you’ve “known” for 10+ years. Yet when you get to college it’s like stepping into a new world where the quality of your friends drastically increases. You are surrounded by mature, like-minded adults.
How can we encourage risk-taking? By risk-taking I mean venturing into the unknown, whether it is in personal life (meeting new people) or business (starting a business) or something else entirely. We can help it by aligning incentives. Japanese culture regards failed businessmen as failures in society. If we look at failed entrepreneurs as heroes instead it may help spur new businesses. We can also align the incentives by ensuring no blow-up risk. Tell people “Who cares if you lost 25% of your savings chasing a wild idea? You can make it back and at least you didn’t go bankrupt.” That may be harder to get across but it would certainly help.
Something America does better than anyone else is glorify its entrepreneurs. Elon Musk is most notable. He is regarded as a hero, which I’m sure has encouraged people to start risky businesses.
The point I’m trying to get across is this, venture into the unknown because what have you got to lose? We all get one shot at life and there is no use staying within our comfort zone.