It’s the science stupid!

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Unfortunately, it has become quite fashionable to correct others and point to “science” as the basis for your argument and beliefs.  While using the word “science” is a broad characterization, I believe that the true message that is being conveyed is that you are stupid and I am more intelligent because I implicently trust the science.  

There are very few labels in life that are worse than calling someone stupid.

While the scientific method has resulted in great discoveries and has increased our knowledge of the way things work in nature, it is not foolproof and is subject to changing theories and discoveries.  The basis of the scientific method is really observation.  Changing different inputs and then watching and documenting the results to get an understanding of how things work.  And there are other factors to consider that tend to skew things and pollute the sauce and actually make the “science” stupid.

We are human.

One problem with science is that we tend to interject bias into our studies.  We want results to be a certain way to prove or disprove our theories and hypothesis.  I believe that it is really impossible to completely remove all bias due to the human condition.  We have opinions, feelings, emotions, aspirations, ego, shame, empathy and all of these characteristics are part of being a living and breathing human.  

There is art.

The portion of discovery that gets lost is the side opposite of the science.  This is the side that could be termed as art.  Often there is an element of intuition that goes against the math, the chemistry, the facts.  This intuition is difficult to describe and measure yet it is involved in nearly every great discovery.    

There is faith (or luck).

When a doctor finishes a medical procedure he will often end with a comment like, “Now we wait to see if this is successful.”  Even with all the modern medical innovations there is still the knowledge that, in the end, things may work or they may not.  I call this faith.  Others may call it luck.  Regardless of your viewpoint, there is a realization that even with the best data and knowledge, things don’t always end as planned.   

So before you sell out to science and call others stupid for their questioning or apprehension to get on board, consider that your “science” might be flat out wrong.  And by making your comments about their failure to believe the science, you are doing harm to both of you.  You are likely degrading them for their apprehension to go “all in” and you may actually be the “stupid” party to discount these common failures in science in your self-righteous haste! 

The Key

When I was a very young man I was convinced that knowledge was the key to success.  I was sure that it was “what you know” that was really important.  So, I worked very hard in school.  I really felt like learning was the key.  If I could just learn as much as possible and gain experience along the way, I would surely be very successful.  I was very driven and serious about school and also soaked in as much practical knowledge as possible.  I was absolutely sure that this was the key.  Learn and gain experience and this will be the pathway to success.

Skelton Key – Wikipedia

Once I finished college and had my initial experiences in the career world, I changed my viewpoint.  I could see the value in networking and knowing the right people.  I was sure that it was “who you know” that was really the key.  In order to excel in this area I worked hard to network and get to know as many people as possible.  I would join associations, meet and greet, and collect and organize business cards.  I watched as some of my friend’s careers skyrocketed because they simply knew the “right” people.  I was convinced that if I could just meet more people that this would be the catalyst for my pursuit of success.  Not “what you know” but “who you know” was the important component to success.

As I have matured, I have once again changed my view on this subject.  I don’t believe that the key is either of my earlier conclusions.  Although knowledge and networking are valuable and necessary at least on some level, I feel like there is one key that is even more important.  Much more important.  I now believe it is “how you know” someone.

Not “what you know” or “who you know” but-  “how you know”.

This may sound strange and certainly deserves explanation.  I truly believe that the key to success in life is the depth of your relationships and your ability to really connect with someone.  Not volume of relationships, but depth.  This is tough for those of us who want big.  We want to make the huge numerical impact.  We want the big following, the big audience, the big appearances.  We are planners and producers.  We need numbers to think that we have made an impact.  We want the stage. 

But really, the important number is ONE.  You must learn to be satisfied to impact and connect with one person at a time, and, one-on-one is the best way.  You must value that one person the same way that God does.  What is the value of one soul?  Infinite value- can’t be measured.  Priceless- just like the credit card commercial.  The same is true when you deal with everyday people.  Take it down to the true reality.  No matter who they are- they are priceless. 

The homeless man, the President, the co-worker, the sibling, the mechanic, the boss, the grocery store clerk, the landscaper- the ungrateful, the arrogant, the depressed, the unlovely. 

So how will this make you successful?  I have watched people that understand the priceless value of a person in every walk and responsibility.  Successful sales people get it.  Great managers get it.  Good parents get it.  Great friends get it.  They give you their 100% attention.  They are not afraid to show their heart.  They will go above and beyond to help you- not to help the situation or themselves- but to help you personally.  They make you feel like you are worth a million bucks (make sense now?).  These folks get it.  And they are generally wildly successful.  They draw a following.  They are always in demand.  They use this skill daily and are masters of connection.  One person at a time!

So what are you going to do about it?  I am sharing this because I struggle in this area- I am a big net guy.  So, this has not been my strength, but I am working on it.  I have personally witnessed the power that is available to anyone willing to open up and take the chance.  Are you ready?  Will you take the time to deepen your relationships in order to unlock this power?  Go ahead, get started- because now you have the key!

Is there someone that you know that has the key?  How can you help those you lead to understand this concept?  Let me know what you think!