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“There are no mountains anywhere; every man’s ignorance is his mountain”. -David Oyedepo
  Do you have an idea the number of things you are struggling with today just because you are ignorant of an easier way to do it? Or the sheer number of things you are ignorant of? Ignorance means “lacking knowledge or information”, or “the state of being unaware”. Simply put, it is “not knowing” and the opposite of knowledge. Life is a struggle because of our ignorance. The entire price we pay in life is because we are ignorant. Ignorance makes life expensive. Can you remember how difficult math was in high school until you learnt the formula and voila! It all made sense. The right information, in this case, a math formula, makes progress easy and rids you of struggle. Life is the same way, the struggles you are facing right now are because of your ignorance and that ignorance has a key, it’s called ‘right information!’ There are three types of ignorance:
  1.  Passive ignorance (Ignorance of things you don’t need to know):  

    I am not a doctor so when I’m ill I go to the hospital. When I’m at the hospital, I pay a consultation fee, not because I’m ill, but because I don’t know to diagnose my illness. If I knew how to diagnose or the right medicine to take, I’d head to a drug store and not the hospital. The thing is, not knowing medicine does not decline my productivity or make me unsuccessful, as long as I can afford a good doctor.
  1.  Active ignorance (Ignorance of things you should know):  

    When I’m ignorant of medicine it’s ok, but when I’m ignorant of things concerning my field of expertise or my work and family, it becomes active ignorance. As a computer engineer, if you don’t know the latest software and computer programs, you will become ineffective and in a little while redundant. When you do not update or upgrade yourself, it makes you unproductive and unsuccessful and because of it, you would get passed over on jobs, you would lose clients and end up poor. This type of ignorance directly affects your well being.
  1. Basic ignorance (Ignorance of things everyone should know about): 

    There is a broad spectrum of things assumed everyone should know. Simple life information like current affairs, motor function skills, being able to articulate and communicate your thoughts coherently, basic negotiations skills etc. This type of knowledge ranges from; sense and motor coordination, life survival instincts like not opening the car door for a hooded guy at the street corner by 11 pm, how to make coffee…. You may be a smart lawyer or scientist, but there are certain knowledge that you are expected to have even though it has nothing to do with your field. People with a lot of basic knowledge are called ‘street smart!’ They tend to be good survivors.
“If you think education is expensive, try ignorance” -Derek Bok.
If you would succeed in life, you need to reduce your level of ignorance as much as possible. This you do by constantly getting information and adding knowledge. You must do something every day to upgrade yourself. Here are some things you could do:
  1.  Read every day to develop your specific skill. Attend courses, listen to audio lectures and teaching, surf the web on new breakthroughs in your field, make sure that every single day, you learn something new about your field.
  1.  At least once a month, read a book on self-improvement, something that develops your personality and character; Leadership books, motivational books, self-enhancement products etc
  1.  Develop a wide interest.Gathering information in other areas of life apart from your core interests can be a very good pass time. It helps you relax and adds good value to you. The next time you want to relax, pick up a business magazine or a medical journal. Kidding me right? Nope, I’m not. Learn to be more observant, the kind of person who is able to reproduce something after seeing it done once.
Ignorance is a killer, it’s a waste. If you let it fester, it will reduce you to a shivering quivering shell of the robust success you should be. “Fear always springs from ignorance” -Ralph Waldo Emerson 

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This article was first published on 6th August 2017

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