Wednesday, May 08, 2013

The Need to Be Naïve

Another busy day here at chez Shamus. Part of it was spent having a conversation with a friend discussing a poker-related writing project on which he’s presently working. The discussion was fun, interesting, and inspiring.

I thought I’d briefly share one idea that came up in that conversation, ripping it free from the context entirely to apply it in ways other than its original intention. It’s not too complicated of an idea, but one that I found myself thinking a lot about afterwards.

Was something someone had told him. Then he told me. And now I’m telling you.

Referring to this writing project of his -- on which he’s been working for quite some time -- he noted how another friend had humorously pointed out to him that he probably wouldn’t have even embarked on it in the first place if he hadn’t been somewhat naïve to have begun it.

Hearing him share that self-deprecating observation, I couldn’t help but think about how I, too, will sometimes think similarly about myself and various projects I’ve begun in the past -- some of which I have finished, some of which I have not.

Just yesterday I wrote a blog post in which I made a reference back to an earlier post written a couple of years ago. Rereading that old post led me to click around for a little while and read a few others. At one point I found myself lingering over one of them thinking to myself a couple of thoughts.

One was to marvel at the energy and enthusiasm I’d pumped into the post, so full of opinions being confidently delivered one after another.

The other was to think how naïve I was when I wrote it, and how knowing what I know now, I probably wouldn’t have bothered.

I shared that story with my friend, adding that it seemed like there was probably some sort of “life truth” embedded in that observation about needing to be naïve in order to do most things that are worthwhile.

Think about the first time you sat down to play poker and how naïve you were. Think about how much more you know now about the game and how to play it. Then answer the following question...

If you knew then how much you didn’t know about poker, would you ever have played at all?

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