Forge Ahead with Aggressive Ignorance

Robert Terson

Regular readers of my blog are familiar with the term “forging ahead with aggressive ignorance”; I’ve used it a number of times—it’s one of my favorite expressions.  You’ll also find it in Chapter 1 of Selling Fearlessly, which can be found on my site. It’s called “The Mound Road Story”. If you haven’t yet read this incredible story of persistence, please treat yourself.

But what does it mean?

It means dive into the task at hand no matter what your situation is. It doesn’t matter how bereft your knowledge is, how unprepared you are, how hopeless things look; the time to begin is always now. If you wait until the situation is “right,” until you’re “ready,” you’re simply kidding yourself and succumbing to fear, because the situation may never be right and you may never be ready.

If there’s something you want in this life, the time to go after it is always now! You start from wherever you’re at. You forge ahead with aggressive ignorance, and learn as you go. The mistakes you make as you march forward need to be thought of as learning experiences, not permanent failures.  One of my favorite books—Go for No! Yes is the Destination, No is How You Get There by my friends Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz—makes the point like nothing else you’ll ever read.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m a firm believer in preparation.  Another chapter in Selling Fearlessly is “Success is a Byproduct of Preparation and Execution.”  It’s just that there are going to be times when you just can’t be fully prepared, and I don’t want you using that as an excuse to never begin the Great Attempt. More great achievements have been lost because “it just wasn’t the right time and I wasn’t quite ready,” than any other excuse.

Here’s a poem, author unknown, that I think would behoove you to memorize; it’s one of my favorites:

Your Dimension Of Greatness

No one can know the potential,


Of a life that is committed to win;

With courage – the challenge it faces,


To achieve great success in the end!

So, explore the Dimension of Greatness,


And believe that the world CAN be won;

By a mind that is fully committed,


KNOWING the task can be done!

Your world has no place for the skeptic,

No room for the DOUBTER to stand;

To weaken your firm resolution

That you CAN EXCEL in this land!

We must have VISION TO SEE our potential,

And FAITH TO BELIEVE that we can;


Then COURAGE TO ACT with conviction,

To become what GOD MEANT us to be!

So, possess the strength and the courage,


To conquer WHATEVER you choose;


It’s the person WHO NEVER GETS STARTED,


That is destined FOREVER to lose!

So, if you have a dream, now is the time to begin pursuing it.  Forge ahead with aggressive ignorance!

 

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