In Praise of Duh

People who have it all figured out scare me.

I don’t know about you, but:

I’m not ready.
I’m never ready.
I’m not smart enough.
I’m never smart enough.

And if I waited until I knew what I was doing, I never would have done anything.

I don’t marry myself to ideas.
I don’t box myself into rigid plans.
I don’t set as many goals as I used to.
I don’t think my way into limited corners.
I don’t commit solely to one course of action.
I don’t have some arbitrary, one-sentence overarching life vision statement.
I don’t blindly follow outdated plans that have no relationship with reality just to avoid looking inconsistent.

And I refuse to kill myself planning things that I don’t control and that are going change anyway.I love failing.
I love getting lost.
I love not knowing.
I love making mistakes.
I love leaving room for the unexpected.
I love attending to life wherever it moves.
I love seeking out new ways to be stretched.

And I’m constantly rewriting my definition of victory.

I can’t believe this is my job.
I can’t believe I’m getting paid for this.
I can’t believe I haven’t been found out yet.
I can’t believe nobody has exposed me as inadequate.
I can’t believe people haven’t caught on to how clueless I really am.
I can’t believe I’ve deceived the world into believing that I know what I’m doing.

And I just know that at any second, I’m going to slip up, blow my cover and it’s only a matter of time before the world spots my shortcomings, wises up and boots me out.


I allow myself to trust the process
I humble myself to the door of next.
I permit myself to meet life in the middle.
I make myself predisposed to compromise.
I keep myself open and amenable to the changes of life.
I give myself the psychological freedom to move in a new direction.
I allow myself to stand on a springboard instead of struggling in a straightjacket.
I trust myself enough that wherever starting over takes me, I’ll still be able to excel.

And I have no clue what the future holds.

I choose to live larger than my labels.
I choose to become bigger than my past.
I choose to yield to the impulse of expression.
I choose to become known for more than one thing.
I choose a name for myself that’s big enough to hold my life’s work.
I choose to allow the new opportunities that come along to outshine the brightness of the former version of myself.

And I know that what identifies me doesn’t define me.

I believe the detour is the path.
I believe life isn’t as predictable as we want.
I believe the less you know, the less you fear.
I believe ignorance isn’t just bliss, it boldness.
I believe life is boring when you know all the answers.

And I am not stopped by not knowing how.

I think that just when you get there, there disappears.
I think that what you know limits what you can imagine.
I think the more you plan; the harder it becomes to invite healthy derailments.
I think that everything that happens to me is exactly what was supposed to happen, even if it seems inconsistent with the brilliant life plan I orchestrated.

And as much of a control freak that I am, I’m fully aware that I have no control, I never will, and I’m not going to waste my energy trying to preserve it.

That’s why I praise duh.

Duh protects me.
Duh humanizes me.
Duh keeps me humble.
Duh is a warning system.
Duh inspires me to become better.
Duh motivates me to achieve great things.
Duh gives me permission to explore alternatives.
Duh helps me keep checks and balances on myself.
Duh keeps me approachable to the people who matter most.

So that’s it.

I’m done trying to eradicate feelings of inadequacy.

And I thank god that I’m clueless.

Because sometimes it takes a person who knows nothing to change everything.

How are you marketing your duh?

For the list called, “22 Unexpected Ways to Help People,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Entrepreneur, Mentor

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Author. Speaker. Strategist. Songwriter. Filmmaker. Inventor. Gameshow Host. World Record Holder. I also wear a nametag 24-7. Even to bed.
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